Oral Argument Before the Hawaii Supreme Court
No. SCWC-11-0000338, Thursday, March 21, 2013, 11:00 a.m.
STATE OF HAWAI`I, Respondent/Plaintiff-Appellee, vs. LUIS GOMEZ-LOBATA, Petitioner/Defendant-Appellant.
(Abuse of Family or Household Member)
The above-captioned case has been set for argument on the merits at:
Supreme Court Courtroom
417 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
Attorney for Petitioner/Defendant-Appellant:
Shawn A. Luiz
Attorney for Respondent/Plaintiff-Appellee:
Linda L. Walton, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney
NOTE: Order granting Application for Writ of Certiorari, filed 02/06/13.
COURT: MER, CJ; PAN, SRA, SSM, & RWP, JJ.
Petitioner/defendant-appellant Luis Gomez-Lobato timely filed an application for a writ of certiorari, seeking review of the Intermediate Court of Appeal’s (ICA) judgment, entered pursuant its Summary Disposition Order. The ICA’s judgment affirmed the Family Court of the Third Circuit’s (family court) Judgment, Guilty Conviction and Sentence, which convicted Gomez-Lobato of one count of Abuse of Family or Household Member, in violation of Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes (HRS) § 709-906.
At a pre-trial hearing, Gomez-Lobato was represented by counsel and had the assistance of a Spanish-language interpreter. After an exchange between the family court and Gomez-Lobato, the family court concluded that Gomez-Lobato had waived his constitutional right to a jury trial. Gomez-Lobato was subsequently convicted and sentenced to two years probation. During sentencing, the family court noted that Gomez-Lobato could have been “prosecuted as an attempted murder” and that his testimony “contain[ed] a great many inconsistencies if not outright lies.”
In his application, Gomez-Lobato raises the following questions: (1) whether Gomez-Lobato validly waived his right to a jury trial; and (2) whether the circuit court abused its discretion in sentencing Gomez-Lobato when it considered “uncharged crimes” of attempted murder and perjury.