The 1990 conviction of an Independence, Mo., man in an armed robbery at a Chinese restaurant in Lawrence has been upheld by the Kansas Court of Appeals.
In an opinion filed Friday, the appeals court affirmed the Oct. 4, 1990, conviction of Saymoung Suady, Independence, Mo., on eight counts of aggravated robbery and a count of theft in the May 13, 1990, robbery of the Magic Wok restaurant, 1800 W. 23rd.
Suady's attorneys, Lucille Marino and Jessica Kunen of the state appellate defender's office, argued that Douglas County District Judge Ralph M. King Jr. made two errors that resulted in their client receiving an unfair trial.
The attorneys said Suady was left out of discussions about legal questions between King, prosecutors and Suady's trial attorney, James Chappel. Also, they said, King did not instruct jurors that they could have found Suady guilty of simple robbery, a "lesser included offense of aggravated robbery."
Marino and Kunen argued that Suady should have been present when King and attorneys discussed a jury request for a transcript of testimony. The appellate court ruled that King erred by holding the discussion without Suady present, but said the error was harmless because the "weight of evidence against him is overwhelming."
Appellate justices said it was not necessary for King to instruct jurors about the simple robbery charge. The opinion stated that there were several firearms used in the robbery and that "Suady was either guilty of aggravated robbery, guilty of aiding and abetting aggravated robbery, or he was not guilty of anything."
Prosecutors alleged Suady was one of six people who entered the restaurant, ordered patrons and employees to lie on the floor and then took the contents of a cash register and robbed patrons of cash and other belongings.
He was sentenced on Nov. 2, 1990, to five to 20 years on each of the aggravated robbery charges and one to two years on the theft charge.