Supreme Court to Hear Appeal in Salina Murder Case

The Kansas Supreme Court is scheduled to hear an appeal in a case involving a Salina teen who was shot and killed back in May of 2015.

Justices will hear oral arguments next Monday, March 11th  for Macio Palacio, who was convicted of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, criminal discharge of a firearm, and conspiracy to commit aggravated battery in connection with the death of  17-year-old Allie Saum, in what was a case of mistaken identity.

According to the court, the events leading up to the death of the victim in this case involved multiple players—including Stephen Gentry and Andrew Woodring—and several encounters. The victim had no connection to anyone in the case and was in a vehicle fired upon by Palacio.

Prior to trial, Palacio filed a motion to change venue based on extensive publicity of the murder. He also filed a motion to suppress statements he made to law enforcement officers. The district court denied both motions.

The district court sentenced Palacio to a hard-50 life sentence and concurrent sentences on the additional convictions. The court also ordered restitution.

Issues on appeal are whether the district court erred in denying Palacio’s motion: 1) to change venue; and 2) to suppress statements made by Palacio to law enforcement officers after he requested to speak to an attorney.

The court also heard oral arguments in a second Salina case. A jury convicted a Salina man of four counts of aggravated criminal sodomy and three counts of rape involving a child.

The man appealed, arguing the district court made several errors. The Court of Appeals affirmed on the issues raised but vacated part of his sentence after finding his sentence was improper.

Issues on review are whether: 1) the district court erred in failing to give a lesser included offense instruction for the counts charging aggravated criminal sodomy; 2) the district court erred by giving an instruction effectively telling the jury it could not legally nullify his convictions; 3) the district court failed to sufficiently inquire into his asserted conflict with trial counsel; and 4) the Court of Appeals erred in setting aside conviction for aggravated incest without affording the parties the opportunity to address the issue.