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Oral Argument Before the Supreme Court

No. SCWC-30205 Wednesday, April 24, 2013, 9 a.m.

STATE OF HAWAI`I, Respondent/Plaintiff-Appellee, vs. MARYANN ACKER, Petitioner/Defendant-Appellant, and WILLIAM GERALD ACKER, Respondent/Defendant.

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

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

Attorney for Petitioner:

Keith S. Shigetomi

Attorney for Respondent State of Hawai`i:

Brandon H. Ito, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney

NOTE: Certificate of Recusal, by Associate Justice Richard W. Pollack, filed 01/15/13.

NOTE: Order assigning Circuit Court Judge Edwin C. Nacino, in place of Pollack, J., recused, filed 01/23/13.

NOTE: Order accepting Application for Writ of Certiorari, filed 02/21/13.

COURT: MER, CJ; PAN, SRA, & SSM, JJ; Circuit Court Judge Nacino in place of Pollack, J., recused.

[ Listen to the entire audio recording in mp3 format ]

Brief Description:

Petitioner/defendant-appellant Maryann Acker (Maryann) timely filed an application for a writ of certiorari, seeking review of the Intermediate Court of Appeal’s (ICA) judgment, entered pursuant to its memorandum opinion. The ICA’s judgment affirmed the Circuit Court of the First Circuit’s (circuit court) Judgment of Conviction and Sentence, which convicted Maryann of the murder of Lawrence Hasker.

Maryann was tried by a jury for the murder of Hasker, whose body was discovered at Hanauma Bay on June 23, 1978. Evidence of the following incidents was also introduced in Maryann’s trial: Maryann’s conviction for the kidnapping and robbery of Joseph Leach on June 10, 1978, Maryann’s conviction for the murder of Cesario Arauza in California on June 24, 1978, and Maryann’s convictions for several other robberies in California. Maryann was convicted of Hasker’s murder and sentenced to life imprisonment, with the possibility of parole.

In her application, Maryann argues that she was denied the right to a fair trial because: (1) the circuit court erred in ruling that she had opened the door, during the cross-examination of her ex-husband William Acker (William), to the admission of “bad acts” evidence regarding the murder of Arauza and the robberies in California; (2) the circuit court allowed the testimony of Hasker’s friend, Timothy Millard, regarding a police request that Millard take a lie detector test; (3) the prosecution engaged in misconduct by improperly cross-examining her using information in her presentence report and by making false and misleading statements during rebuttal closing; and (4) the circuit court erroneously refused to enforce a subpoena recalling William to testify in Maryann’s case. Maryann also argues that the jury instructions on accomplice liability and the offense of murder were erroneous.