On Thursday, October 10, 2013, I second-chaired a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) trial litigated by Honolulu Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Katherine “Katie” Lukela in courtroom 8C in Honolulu Family Court located in Honolulu District Court, presided by Judge Dean E. Ochiai. In this case, the Defendant told his mother to tell the petitioner of the TRO (Defendant’s ex-girlfriend) that if she dropped the criminal charges (Burglary and Assault) against him, he would stop bothering her. The State only had the Defendant’s mother and two police officers as witnesses. We didn’t have the petitioner of the TRO. The Defendant’s mother told us she would testify only if we gave her immunity from prosecution from our department in regards to the case in chief. Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Keith M. Kaneshiro gave us the authority to give immunity to her, which enabled us to go to trial. Katie did an excellent job in litigating the case and the mother testified honestly. As a result, we were able to defeat a motion by the Defense for Judgment of Acquittal on the first day of trial.
On Friday, October 11, 2013, Honolulu Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Lukela did a great job in her closing argument and rebuttal. While the jury was deliberating, I went with four other Deputy Prosecuting Attorneys from the Domestic Violence Misdemeanor Team to a building by Honolulu Hale to see Tammy Hurley, a staff for our team, receive a City and County of Honolulu employee of the year award from the Mayor of Honolulu Kirk Caldwell, a friend and former colleague of mine in the Hawaii State House of Representatives. Just as we were walking back to downtown for lunch, we got a call from Katie saying that the jury had reached a verdict. We returned back to court and was pleased to find out that the State had received a “guilty” verdict. We were extremely proud of Honolulu Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Katherine “Katie” Lukela’s performance. Our team had a great time bonding that day.