Reimbursement of costs associated with prostitution are not “profits” under the promoting statute

  State v. Ibarra (HSC March 15, 2023) Background. Paola Ibarra was charged with sex trafficking and kidnapping with a male co-defendant Gustavo Ferreira. At trial, Ibarra and the complainant testified they flew from Oakland, California to Honolulu on Halloween. He paid for their airfare and hotel in Waikiki. The complainant testified that they were going there for her to “strip and dance” and that she was going to repay Ibarra for the airfare and hotel as she made money in Hawai'i. Ibarra called it a “paycation,” in which they were getting paid while being on vacation. The complainant’s friend, Samantha King, testified that the complainant was “fully” aware she was going to Hawai'i to engage in prostitution in addition to stripping and dancing.   They get to Hawai'i and Ibarra puts out prostitution advertisements for the complainant on the website Backpage. He posted photographs of the complainant. The complainant testified she brought two cell phones and set her ow

Five different and unrelated cases are still one “sentence” and credit for time served applies to all five, not each individual case

  State v. Vaden (HSC March 15, 2023) Background. Jonathan Vaden was on probation when he was prosecuted for five separate criminal cases alleging various drug and property offenses. After spending several months in jail, Vaden pleaded no contest to every offense except for a class A drug offense. The parties waived a presentence (PSI) report and the circuit court of the second circuit—with the Honorable Judge Richard T. Bissen, Jr. presiding—did not order one. Vaden was sentenced to four years probation in each case with the condition that he complete the Maui Drug Court Program. He petitioned into the program by having his probation revoked and resentenced to a new term of probation.   He was ultimately terminated from the program. His probation was revoked and he was resentenced to prison. He was sentenced to 5 years prison for the felonies, 1 year for the misdemeanors, and 30 days for the petty misdemeanors in the four unrelated cases. Those counts and cases ran concurrently

HSC overrules a nine-month-old case and goes back to the bright-line rule to determine “custody” in custodial interrogation

  State v. Hewitt (HSC March 15, 2023) Background. Hawai'i County Officer Chandler Nancio and another officer were called to the Kona Community Hospital in the middle of the night to see a possible victim of assault. An unknown man dropped Cyrina Hewitt off at the emergency room. He found Hewitt awake with contusions on her face, her eyes were swollen shut, a laceration was on her ear, and she had a broken breast plate. She was disoriented and “rambling incoherently.” She did not know where she was or why she as in the hospital.   Officer Nancio waited for the nurse to treat her and then asked for her name and birth date. He stayed at her bedside and asked her questions about how she got her injuries. Hewitt at first said she had pink-eye, but then said it was a stye. Then paramedics came by and asked what was going on. The paramedics said that they saw a truck’s taillights sticking out of the bushes on the side of the road.   Sgt. Mekia Rose followed up on the truck and

Dissecting when sentencing court can set discretionary terms of probation and when they can be enforced

  State v. Talo (HSC March 15, 2023) Background. Logovii Talo was charged with assault in the second degree after punching an employee at the Rent-A-Center in Wahiawa and causing a concussion. There were no weapons involved. Talo pleaded no contest to the charge and was sentenced to probation. One of the terms and conditions of probation required him to submit at reasonable times to a search of his person, residence, vehicle, or other property under his control by any probation officer without a warrant based on reasonable suspicion that illicit substances or “contraband” may be in that place. He was also prohibited from owning or possessing firearms or ammunition.   Two years later, Talo’s wife, Jenifer applied for restraining orders against Talo. She averred that he may own or possess a weapon. The applications were dissolved. Months after that, the police called the probation office and told the supervisor that Jenifer reported that Talo had a gun. Probation started to invest

Anonymous jurors was harmless error, but standardized instructions on extended term sentencing was erroneous

  State v. Lafoga (HSC March 15, 2023) Background. Brandon Lafoga and Ranier Ines were indicted. Lafoga was charged with attempted murder in the second degree, conspiracy to commit murder in the second degree, carrying or use of a firearm while in the commission of a separate felony, kidnapping, and prohibited ownership of a firearm and ammunition. Ines was charged as an accomplice to attempted murder in the second degree, conspiracy to commit murder, and robbery in the first degree.   The circuit court—with the Hon. Judge Paul Wong presiding—ruled that the jury would be “innominate.” That is, everyone would refer to the prospective jurors by number, and not by name. the parties would conceal the jurors’ identifying information like their name, phone number, and address. The court alone had that information. Both the prosecution and defense counsel objected. The judge explained that in the past he encountered anxious jurors who would be too afraid to serve. The court compromised