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Showing posts from February, 2021

Trial Court’s Refusal to Instruct Jury on Negligence was not Erroneous in Assault Trial

  State v. Valoroso (ICA February 26, 2021) Background. Randal Valoroso was charged with assault in the first degree; that is, intentionally or knowingly causing serious bodily injury. At trial, the prosecution called Christopher Gray, who testified that Valoroso parked his parked his pickup truck and trailer about ten feet away from his the door to his house in Makawao on Maui. Gray was staying with his mother, Tracy Taylor, at the time. He told Valoroso he needed to move the truck. Valoroso challenged him. Gray started arguing with Valoroso and Taylor tried to intervene. Gray testified that Valoroso shoved Taylor, who slid down to the ground, and Valoroso jabbed a metal object into Taylor’s leg. Taylor also testified about the altercation with Gray and Valoroso and Valoroso pushing her back into the house, falling down, and getting injured.   The defense called the one of the officers who came to the scene and testified about inconsistent statements with Gray and Taylor. The d

When Warrantless Blood Draws Still Require a Warrant

  State v. Hewitt (ICA February 16, 2021) Background. Cyrina Hewitt was charged with driving under the influence and driving without a license. Hawai'i County Police Department Officer Chandler Nacino went to the Kona Community Hospital emergency room at around 1:00 a.m. on July 3, 2014 to investigate a possible assault. Hospital staff informed him that Hewitt was dropped off there by an unknown male. Officer Nacino went to see Hewitt at her bedside. Hewitt was lying in a hospital bed and awake. She was disoriented. The officer saw she had contusions on her face and her eyes were swollen shut. She also had a cut on her ear. She provided Officer Nacino with her name and date of birth, but she did not know where she was or why she was in the hospital. The officers tried to question her. They asked if she was assaulted and she provided incoherent answers. According to Officer Nacino, she “appeared to be out of it and had slurred speech.” She told the officer that her eyes were swol

No "Disposition," No Order for Protection

  JD v. PD (ICA February 10, 2021) Background. Mother filed a petition for order for protection against Father and alleged domestic abuse of Mother and child. The allegations went back to 2015. The family court, the Hon. Judge Natasha R. Shaw presiding, granted the petition and issued a temporary restraining order. The family court also ordered the Department of Human Services to investigate, submit a report, and appear at the hearing on the petition for an order of protection.   At the hearing, the family court accepted two reports prepared by a social worker at DHS. At the hearing both parties, the child’s former teacher, and the DHS social worker testified. The family court granted the petition and issued an order for protection for five years. The family court found that Mother proved the allegations in the petition. The family court prohibited Father from contacting Mother and child except under fully supervised visitation and as needed for court.   Father moved to amen

Exclusionary Rule at Odds with Police Acting as Care Providers

  State v. Lee (HSC February 9, 2021) Background. Honolulu Police Department officers responded to a “suicidal male call” at an ‘Aiea residence. The family let the officers into the home and directed them to a closed bedroom door. Family members said that Joshua Lee was in his room and he had samurai swords in there. They made contact with Lee through the closed door. The did not allow the officers to open the door, but told them he was okay and asked them to leave. The Sgt. Michael Cobb who responded to the call started talking to Lee. He told him that he “needed to grow up” and “be a man.” Lee asked if the officers had a warrant. Sgt. Cobb told him “we don’t need a warrant, dumbass.” Despite Lee’s request that they leave him alone, the officers needed to check if there was a risk that he would harm himself. The officers picked the lock and opened it to at the very least see Lee.   When they did, the door was obstructed. At some point, Lee’s family members asked the police to l