Wichita, KS — Kyler Carriker is a good person. He is a loving husband and a father whose life could be ruined because of the ridiculous nature of the state’s war on drugs.
According to Carriker’s family, on April 17th, 2013, Kyler and a friend had finished work and were headed out to go fishing. They were stopped by a train where they ran into Carriker’s former classmate. Carriker was asked if he could find any “smoke,” meaning marijuana. Carriker said he could try, so they exchanged telephone numbers.
What Carriker didn’t know was that his old classmate from school had since become an active gang member. This former classmate planned to rob Carriker and whomever else was involved in the marijuana transaction.
Kyler Carriker agreed to meet his former classmate at his friend Kyle Belts’ home to introduce his former classmate and the marijuana dealer. However, the former classmate arrived with several other gang members, and later testified in court to the fact that the plan was to rob Carriker, Belts, and Ronald Betts, the marijuana dealer and brother of former Kansas state Senator Donald Betts.
Almost immediately upon entering Belts’ home, the gang members began firing. Carriker and Betts were both shot and unfortunately Betts died from his injuries.
According to Carriker’s family, after leaving the home, the shooter bragged to the other gang members, saying that he had “killed them all.”
After the shooting, instead seeking actual justice for this killing, Carriker was charged with the murder of Betts because he acted as a middleman in the marijuana sale.
In a tyrannically absurd move, the state of Kansas added marijuana offenses to the list of inherently dangerous felonies, or crimes where death is likely to occur. The law was amended on July 1, 2013, three months after the incident involving Carriker. However, the state retroactively applied this nonsense to Carriker’s case!
Carriker did absolutely nothing morally wrong; he merely lined up a potential trade deal between two other people. In the process, he and his friend became victims of an armed robbery. For being victimized by gang members, Carriker now faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison, without the possibility of parole.
He harmed no one!
A child could tell you that the death of Betts was a result of the robbery and not a marijuana deal, as deals do not involve one party killing the other. However, the court has ruled that Carriker’s attorney cannot use this as a defense, despite the ruling of State v. Beach, which dictates that an extraordinary intervening event [the robbery] can be presented as the cause of death, according to the family.
The court has also ruled in favor of prosecutor Trinity Muth’s motion in limine to suppress all information pertaining to the robbers’ gang affiliations. This means that the jury will not be told that Carriker had no ties to gangs and that the robbers were all documented gang members.
By pursuing murder charges in this fashion, the court is essentially saying that marijuana is more dangerous than armed robbery.
All of this injustice is facilitated by a flawed legal doctrine called the Felony Murder Rule. While the felony murder rule is most commonly used to defer the liability of police who kill innocent people during the pursuit of a criminal, in this instance, it’s being used to bolster the prosecutor’s conviction rate by charging an innocent man with murder.
On Monday, Carriker’s trial began. Jennifer Winn, Carriker’s mother, and a former gubernatorial candidate has helped to raise awareness for her son’s railroading by the justice system.
Advocates of jury nullification and ending the drug war all showed up to court yesterday to voice their support for Carriker. However, in true tyrannical fashion, the judge ruled that t-shirts showing support for Carriker are now illegal and can not be worn to court.
The irony here is that had the state not outlawed marijuana effectively pushing its sale into dark alleys and criminal elements, Kyler Carriker would be enjoying his children right now, instead of facing the possibility of never seeing them again.
This case is one of the worst travesties of the justice system’s war on marijuana in recent history, and the mainstream media is silent. Please help shine light on this darkness by sharing this article with your friends and family. If you are in the Witchita area, please go to the courthouse and show your support for this father and husband. Please help this family seek #JusticeforKyler.