Oral Argument Before the Hawaii Supreme Court — No. SCWC-16-0000004
No. SCWC-16-0000004, Thursday, August 8, 2019, 8:45 a.m.
STATE OF HAWAII, Respondent/Plaintiff-Appellee, vs. MICHAEL LIMJUCO ABELLA, Petitioner/Defendant-Appellant.
The above-captioned case has been set for argument on the merits at:
Supreme Court Courtroom
Aliiolani Hale, 2nd Floor
417 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
Attorney for petitioner:
Dana S. Ishibashi
Attorney for respondent:
Chad M. Kumagai, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney
NOTE: Order accepting Application for Writ of Certiorari, filed 06/17/19.
COURT: Recktenwald, C.J., Nakayama, McKenna, Pollack, and Wilson, JJ.
Defendant Michael Limjuco Abella was charged with one count of Murder in the Second Degree, in violation of HRS § 707-701.5 (2014) (“intentionally or knowingly caus[ing] the death of another person”). After a jury trial, Abella was convicted of Manslaughter, in violation of HRS § 707-702(1)(a) (2014) (“recklessly caus[ing] the death of another person”). Abella was sentenced to a term of imprisonment for twenty years.
On appeal, Abella argued that the circuit court: (1) erred by not applying HRS § 327E-13 (2010) to his case; (2) plainly erred by not providing a jury instruction regarding intervening causation; and (3) erred by denying his motion for mistrial on the basis of prosecutorial misconduct. The ICA affirmed his conviction. See State v. Abella, 144 Hawai i 141 (App. 2019).
On certiorari, Abella asks this court to determine whether the ICA erred in holding that: (1) HRS § 327E-12, regarding the withdrawal of health care, does not apply to criminal conduct which leads to the need for health care; (2) the decedent’s medical treatment and the removal of life support was not an intervening cause of death that warranted a jury instruction on intervening causation; and (3) Abella was not entitled to a mistrial based on alleged prosecutorial misconduct.