Oral Arguments before the Hawai`i Supreme Court
No. 29191- Thursday, May 6, 2010 at 11 a.m.
STATE OF HAWAII, Respondent/Plaintiff-Appellee, vs. ROBERT JAMES BEHRENDT, aka RUNNING BEAR, Petitioner/Defendant-Appellant. (Sexual Assault in the Third Degree)
Attorney(s) for Petitioner/Defendant-Appellant(s)
Honorable John M. Tonaki, Public Defender, and Ronette M. Kawakami, Deputy Public Defender
Attorney(s) for Responndent/Plaintiff-Appellee(s)
Honorable Jay T. Kimura, Prosecuting Attorney, and Linda L. Walton, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, County of Hawaii
NOTE: Order accepting Application for Writ of Certiorari, filed 3/29/10.
COURT: RTYM, CJ; PAN, SRA, JED & MER, JJ.
Petitioner/Defendant-Appellant Robert James Behrendt, aka Running Bear (Behrendt) filed an application for writ of certiorari seeking review of the November 4, 2009 summary disposition order of the Intermediate Court of Appeals (ICA). A jury found Behrendt guilty of three counts of sexual assault in the third degree, in violation of Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes (HRS) section 707-732 (Supp. 2002) (Counts 1 through 3) and one count of unlawful imprisonment in the first degree, in violation of HRS section 707-721 (1993) (Count 4). The ICA affirmed the Circuit Court of the Third Circuit’s (circuit court) April 16, 2008 judgment, guilty conviction, and sentence on Counts 1 and 2 and vacated and remanded for a new trial on Count 3.
In his application, Behrendt argues that: (1) the circuit court erroneously admitted character evidence in violation of Hawaii Rules of Evidence (HRE), Rules 404(b) and 403; (2) the circuit court erroneously instructed the jury on the included offense of sexual assault in the third degree in Counts 1-3; and (3) there was insufficient evidence to sustain Behrendt’s conviction for three counts of sexual assault in the third degree.