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Oral Argument Before the Hawaii Supreme Court

No. SCWC-13-0003062, Thursday, July 2, 2015, 11:15 a.m.

STATE OF HAWAI`I, Respondent/Plaintiff-Appellee, vs. ROBERT TETU, Petitioner/Defendant-Appellant.

The above-captioned case has been set for argument on the merits at:

Supreme Court Courtroom
Ali`iolani Hale, 2nd Floor
417 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96813

Attorney for Petitioner:

Stuart N. Fujioka

Attorney for Respondent:

Donn Fudo, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney

NOTE: Order accepting Application for Writ of Certiorari, filed 05/18/15.

COURT: MER, CJ; PAN, SSM, RWP, and MDW, JJ.

[ Listen to the entire audio recording in mp3 format ]

Brief Description:

Petitioner/defendant-appellant Robert Tetu was charged with Burglary in the Second Degree. The police report and video surveillance footage from the incident indicated that on March 25, 2010, Tetu entered Maunaihi Terrace–a private condominium building–accessed two locked utility closets located in the basement, and removed items from one of the closets.

Prior to trial, Tetu moved to compel discovery. Tetu requested access to Maunaihi Terrace for purposes of inspecting, viewing, measuring, and photographing the premises. At the time of Tetu’s request, the defense had the police report for the incident, which contained photographs and diagrams of the scene, as well as the video surveillance footage. The Circuit Court of the First Circuit denied the motion to compel discovery.

At trial, video surveillance footage was admitted into evidence. The defense’s theory was that Tetu committed Criminal Trespass in the First Degree, not Burglary in the Second Degree, because he had no intent to commit a crime in the utility closets. The jury found Tetu guilty as charged, and Tetu was sentenced to five years of imprisonment.

Tetu appealed in the Intermediate Court of Appeals (ICA). In a memorandum opinion filed on January 29, 2015, the ICA affirmed Tetu’s judgment of conviction and sentence, concluding that (1) the circuit court did not err in denying Tetu’s motion to compel discovery, and (2) there was sufficient evidence to support Tetu’s conviction.

On certiorari, Tetu presents the following questions:

Did the ICA gravely err in affirming the Trial Court’s denial of Petitioner’s request to compel discovery?

Did the ICA gravely err in finding that Petitioner’s conviction was supported by sufficient evidence?