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Oral Argument Before the Hawaii Supreme Court–No. SCWC-17-0000638

No. SCWC-17-0000638, Thursday, June 20, 2019, 8:45 a.m.

STATE OF HAWAII, Respondent/Plaintiff-Appellee, vs. LISA E. ALKIRE, Petitioner/Defendant-Appellant.

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

Supreme Court Courtroom
Aliiolani Hale, 2nd Floor
417 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
   
 Attorney for Petitioner:

Richard L. Holcomb of Holcomb Law, LLLC

Attorney for Respondent:

Donn Fudo, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney

NOTE: Order accepting Application for Writ of Certiorari, filed 04/18/19.

COURT: Recktenwald, C.J., Nakayama, McKenna, Pollack, and Wilson, JJ.

[ Listen to the entire audio recording in mp3 format ]

Brief Description:

In this case, Petitioner Lisa Alkire was pulled over on suspicion of Operating a Vehicle under the Influence of an Intoxicant (“OVUII”).  A Honolulu Police Department police officer had observed her weaving in and out of her lane on Likelike Highway.  Upon her arrest, she was taken to the Kalihi police substation, which is monitored by video cameras.
 
 Alkire was later charged with OVUII.  During discovery, her defense counsel asked the State to produce the personnel files of the officers involved in Alkire’s case.  Defense counsel also asked that the prosecutor be required to review those files to determine whether impeachment materials existed, e.g., misconduct records or other documentation concerning the officers’ reputation for truthfulness and veracity.  Defense counsel also filed a motion to compel the production of video recordings of Alkire at the Kalihi police substation, or, in the alternative, to allow defense counsel to subpoena the footage.  Defense counsel stated that he had already sent a request to preserve the video evidence to the Honolulu Police Department and the prosecutor’s office days after Alkire’s arrest, but was unable to obtain any video recording.  The district court denied both motions.

The district court then confirmed with defense counsel that two remaining motions to suppress would be consolidated with trial.  The district court asked Alkire if that was acceptable to her, and she agreed.  The district court then asked her if she had any questions, and Alkire said she did not.  The district court then advised Alkire of her trial rights.  Trial then began with the State’s first witness.  Trial was then continued for another two months, then another four and a half months after that.  In the interim, defense counsel filed a motion to dismiss Alkire’s case, arguing that her right to a speedy trial had been violated; the district court denied the motion.  Ultimately, the district court adjudged Alkire guilty of OVUII.  The Intermediate Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s decision.

On certiorari, Alkire presents four questions.  First, she asserts that the ICA erred in concluding that the circuit court properly advised Alkire of her trial rights.  Alkire argues that the district court did not advise her, before trial, of her right to remain silent.  She also asserts that the district court did not advise her, before the suppression hearing, that she had a right to testify at the suppression hearing without the testimony being used against her in determining guilt or innocence.  Second, Alkire contends that the ICA erred in concluding that her right to a speedy trial was not violated.  Third, Alkire argues that the ICA erred in concluding that the prosecutor was not required to further investigate whether material relevant to the police officers’ reputation for truth or veracity existed in police personnel files.  Fourth, Alkire claims that the ICA erred in affirming her conviction because Alkire was not able to establish an appropriate record as to the existence of video footage of her at the police substation after her OVUII arrest.  She also argues the ICA erred in concluding that the video footage was not material because other evidence of her guilt was overwhelming.