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Oral Argument Before the Hawaii Supreme Court

No. SCWC-13-0000030, Thursday, March 17, 2016, 8:45 a.m.

STATE OF HAWAI`I, Respondent/Plaintiff-Appellee, vs. vs. ANTHONY R. VILLENA, 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:

Phyllis J. Hironaka, Deputy Public Defender

Attorney for Respondent:

Brian R. Vincent, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney

NOTE: Order accepting Application for Writ of Certiorari, filed 09/30/15.

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

[ Listen to the entire audio recording in mp3 format ]

Brief Description:

Petitioner-Appellant Anthony R. Villena applied for writ of certiorari from the judgment of the Intermediate Court of Appeals (ICA), entered pursuant to its May 19, 2015 summary disposition order. The ICA judgment affirmed the District Court of the First Circuit’s (district court) December 19, 2012 judgment of conviction.

Villena was convicted of Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence of an Intoxicant, in violation of Hawai`i Revised Statutes (HRS) § 291E-61(a)(4). At trial, the State introduced blood alcohol test results indicating Villena’s blood alcohol concentration at the time of his arrest.

Villena argues that an improper foundation was laid to support the admission of Villena’s blood alcohol test results and the district court’s admission of State’s Exhibit 1 violated Villena’s right to confrontation and constituted inadmissible hearsay. Villena presents the following questions to this court:

1. Whether the ICA erred in affirming the district court’s admission of Villena’s blood alcohol test result without first requiring the State to

a. introduce its scientific evidence via a duly qualified expert;

b. demonstrate compliance with the Montalbo factors to show that the scientific evidence was reliable;

c. demonstrate compliance with the Souza foundational requirements to admit test results;

2. Whether the ICA erred in affirming the district court’s admission of Villena’s blood alcohol test result without first requiring the State to demonstrate strict compliance with HAR § 11-114-23 requirements regarding the collection procedure of a blood sample.

3. Whether the ICA erred in affirming the district court’s admission of the State’s Exhibit 1 when Exhibit 1 was hearsay and its admission violated Villena’s rights under the Confrontation Clause. Exhibit 1 consisted of a letter from the DUI Coordinator licensing the laboratory where Villena’s blood sample was tested, confirming approval of the testing method and instruments used to test Villena’s blood sample, and stating that the medical technician who tested Villena’s blood sample was qualified.

4. Whether the ICA erred in ruling that the district court’s admission of the State’s Exhibit 2 was harmless error. Exhibit 2 consisted of a sworn statement by the medical technician who tested Villena’s blood sample regarding the testing conditions, testing procedure, and blood alcohol test results.