Showing posts from April, 2014

Specific Instances of Abuse Cannot be Charged as a Continuous Course of Conduct

State v. DeCoite (HSC February 28, 2014) Background. Henry DeCoite was charged with a single count of abuse of a family or household member. HRS § 709-906. The complaint stated that the offense took place “during or about the period between February 1, 2005, through June 1, 2007, inclusive, as a continuing course of conduct[.]” In response to a discovery request, the prosecution produced two instances of abuse on November 29, 2006 and on March 13, 2007. DeCoite filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on the grounds that the abuse statute does not allow the prosecution to charge the offense as a continuing course of conduct. At the hearing, the prosecution apparently presented some evidence from a domestic violence expert that multiple instances of abuse toward the same person in a relationship are part of that cycle of violence. The family court (Judge Richard T. Bissen) granted the motion. The prosecution appealed and the ICA reversed. DeCoite petitioned for certiorari.
Discreet Instan…

A Tachibana Colloquy is not Reciting “a Litany of Rights”

State v. Pomroy (HSC January 31, 2014) Background. Henry Pomroy was charged with a single count of assault in the third degree. He waived his right to a trial by jury. On the day of trial, the district court did not conduct a colloquy with Pomroy about his right to testify or not testify before trial began. At trial, the complainant, Clark Lukens, testified that Pomroy was his neighbor at the Hale Moana Apartment Complex in Hilo. While he was in the backyard, Pomroy approached him and was screaming. Pomroy accused Lukens of trying to get Pomroy evicted. After five minutes of this, Pomroy left. Lukens then went into an elevator and then Pomroy suddenly appeared out of nowhere. Pomroy went into the elevator with him and the doors closed. According to Lukens, Pomroy shoved, pushed, and elbowed him several times. When the doors opened, Pomroy stopped the attack and left. He said that he had been hit very hard and was in extreme pain, but admitted that he suffered no injuries. None of the o…

Prosecutor Can't Supply Legal Definitions for the Court at Closing

State v. Basham (HSC February 6, 2014) Background. Michael Basham and his son, Aliikea, were charged with assault in the first degree. The prosecution alleged that the Bashams intentionally or knowingly caused “serious bodily injury” to Steven Bloom. See HRS § 707-710. Both went to trial at the same time.
The prosecution adduced these facts from witness testimony. Steven Bloom and his wife, Jennifer Chavez, were driving around Ewa Beach looking for a beach. They got into a minor motor vehicle accident with a blue car, which collided into the back of their car. Both pulled off to the side of the road. The driver was uninjured and Bloom suggested that they exchange insurance information. The driver said he had to call his father. Bloom went back to his car to get his proof of insurance and when he walked back to the blue car he saw Aliikea running up from a nearby beach. Aliikea, according to Bloom, was loud, aggressive, and was trying to intimidate him. Aliikea pushed Bloom. Michael came…