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Oral Argument Before the Hawaii Supreme Court

(Amended 08/24/15)

No. SCWC-13-0000061, Thursday, October 1, 2015, 10 a.m.

STATE OF HAWAI`I, Respondent/Plaintiff-Appellee, vs. PATRICK DEGUAIR, JR., 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:

Dwight C.H. Lum

Attorney for Respondent: 

James M. Anderson, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney

NOTE: Order accepting Application for Writ of Certiorari, filed 08/04/15.

NOTE: Order granting motion to continue oral argument from 09/17/15, 10:00 a.m., to 10/01/15, 10:00 a.m., filed 08/20/15.

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

[ Listen to the entire audio recording in mp3 format ]

Brief Description:

In this case, Patrick Deguair, Jr. was charged with one count of robbery in the first degree and four counts of kidnapping. The charges stemmed from the robbery of Aiea Cue, during which Deguair (and two other individuals, David Teo and Ju Young Woo) allegedly restrained four individuals with the intent to terrorize them. Before trial, Deguair sought to suppress evidence connected to the robbery found during a search of his hotel room. The police had obtained a warrant to search the hotel room to seize, among other things, firearms related to a murder in which Deguair was a suspect. The circuit court denied the motion to suppress, concluding that the robbery evidence was seized under the plain view doctrine.

Also before trial, Deguair sought to introduce evidence that Teo and Woo were violent enforcers for criminal organizations. The circuit court granted in part and denied in part the State’s motion in limine, which sought to preclude this evidence.

During trial, the State asked Deguair if he and Teo shot guns at Koko Head range before the Aiea Cue robbery. Deguair’s counsel raised an objection, which was sustained. Deguair=s counsel then made an oral motion for a mistrial, which the circuit court denied, finding a mistrial to be too drastic a remedy for what it considered to be an irrelevant and prejudicial question.

Also at trial, Deguair testified that Woo used a blowtorch to cut open a change machine at Aiea Cue. According to Deguair, Woo opened up a bottom panel and removed an envelope containing cash. On rebuttal, Woo testified that he did not open up the bottom panel of the change machine. Deguair moved for a new trial alleging that Woo perjured himself on rebuttal. The circuit court denied the motion.

The jury found Deguair guilty of one count of robbery in the second degree (a class B felony), one count of kidnapping as a class A felony, and three counts of kidnapping as class B felonies. The jury also found that the robbery and kidnappings were committed as a continuous course of conduct and with no separate and distinct intent. Pursuant to HRS ‘ 701-109(e), which prohibits conviction of more than one offense if the offense is “defined as a continuing course of conduct,” the Circuit Court of the First Circuit (“circuit court”) dismissed the robbery conviction.

On appeal, the ICA vacated the kidnapping conviction as a class A felony and remanded Deguair’s case to the circuit court to enter a judgment of conviction on that count as a class B felony and to re-sentence Deguair on four class B kidnapping convictions.

On certiorari, Deguair argues that the ICA gravely erred in affirming the circuit court’s (1) order denying his motion to suppress; (2) order granting in part and denying in part the State’s motion in limine concerning Woo’s and Teo’s prior bad acts; (3) denial of his oral motion for mistrial; and (4) denial of his motion for a new trial. Deguair also argues that the ICA gravely erred in concluding that the four class B kidnapping convictions should not merge together or should not merge into the robbery conviction.