Showing posts from September, 2011

Harmless Error Determined by Weighing Evidence at Trial, not Reasonable Possibility of it Contributing to Conviction

State v. Veikoso (HSC September 12, 2011) Background. John Veikoso was indicted with eight counts involving sexual assault in the 1st degree, kidnapping, and sexual assault in the 3d degree. The complaining witnesses were two prostitutes. One of the prostitutes testified that Veikoso picked her up near the Long's Drugs and Safeway near Nu'uanu Ave. She agreed to cruise with them and they went up the Pali Highway. They went into a dark neighborhood on the Old Pali Road. Veikoso told her that he could take her back if she was scared. She said she was okay. Soon, however, she did get scared and asked to be taken back. Veikoso took her phone away and hit her in her face and head several times. He grabbed her hair. She was bleeding and lost consciousness. She tried to get out of the car, but Veikoso kept pulling her hair and threatened to hit and even shoot her if she tried to get away. She kept quiet as they drove down the windward side of the Pali. V

Using a lack of Evidence to show it did not Happen

State v. Forman (ICA September 8, 2011) Background. Stephen Forman was charged with unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle. HRS § 708-836. Police found Forman riding a moped on Ala Wai Boulevard. The officers stopped him because the moped's decal was partially missing, which is indicative to them of a stolen moped. Forman told them that he had just rented the moped, but he did not have the paperwork on him. The police traced the moped back to Adventure on 2 Wheels. They also learned that the moped was missing, but not reported stolen. At trial, Kim Voight of the rental company testified that in order to rent a moped from he company, a renter has to verify that he or she is over 18 years old and provide the company with a driver's license. The renter must also provide a credit card for a deposit, but may actually pay in cash. The customer is then given a contract with a pre-printed number on it, which is subsequently signed by the customer. The cont

Disproving Parental Discipline Defense Requires Extreme Mental Distress, not just Mental Distress

State v. Dowling (ICA August 30, 2011) Background. Richard Dowling was charged with one count of abuse of a family or household member. HRS § 709-906. At trial, Dowling's son was shown a series of photographs. He said that the photographs depict bruises on his legs. The son testified that he finished vacuuming the house and put the vacuum away in the closet. However, he could not close the door because the rug was stuck under it. The door blocked Dowling from going to his room and Dowling became angry with this son. Dowling asked his son if he caused the door to get stuck. His son repeatedly denied it and said it was the rug. Dowling thought his son was lying. Dowling pushed his son on the shoulder and he fell onto a bed. Dowling hit the son twice on his leg. The son also testified that Dowling might have punched him with a closed fist. The son testified that it hurt a little bit. The son told his great-grandmother about the incident one week later.

HSC: A Police Chase is one long Seizure

State v. Tominiko (HSC August 26, 2011) Background. Robert Tominiko was charged with operating a vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant (HRS § 291E-61) and driving without motor vehicle insurance. The complaint alleged that in the OUI took place on August 2, 2008 in Honolulu, but it did not allege that it took place on a public roadway. The other count alleged that the driving took place on the same day and in the same place, and that it did take place on a public street, road, or highway. Tominiko did not object to the sufficiency of the complaint. The no-insurance count was dismissed. Tominiko, however, moved to suppress evidence on the grounds that the police officer did not have reasonable suspicion to detain him. At the hearing on the motion, Officer Antwan Stuart testified he was on duty around midnight, when he was dispatched to investigate a report of a group of people arguing at an intersection in Kalihi. He approached a group of about 15 to 20 p