A jury trial was pushed back to June for a man who wanted to defend himself on charges that could put him in prison for more than 100 years.
James Mundon’s trial was set for today, but has been rescheduled to June 5. The trial date was changed after private attorney Alfred Castillo was court-appointed last week to represent Mundon.
Circuit Court Judge Kathleen N.A. Watanabe appointed Castillo because she was concerned that Mundon could not properly defend himself.
Mundon is accused of terrorizing a Canadian woman with a knife, kidnapping and sexually assaulting her in 2004.
Mundon said he would have a hard time trusting attorneys from the state public defender’s office. He said at a hearing last month he wanted to be his own attorney because lawyers in that office did not fight for him when he was accused of the crimes two years ago.
Mundon was also concerned he would not be able to stay in contact with his new attorney because he is being held at the Halawa Correctional Facility in ‘Aiea on O’ahu.
Watanabe told Mundon that being on O’ahu will not pre-clude attorney Castillo from building a defense.
“Mr. Castillo is very experienced in criminal law,” said Watanabe, adding that Castillo has been an attorney on Kaua’i for more than 20 years.
Mundon, 51, was indicted in August on 28 offenses. According to the eight-page indictment, he faces 21 counts of third-degree sexual assault, two counts of first-degree terroristic threatening, one count of first-degree attempted sexual assault, and one count of kidnapping.
He also faces one count of third-degree assault, one count of first-degree attempted assault, and one count of first-degree attempted sexual assault.
The alleged offenses originate from similar charges that were brought against Mundon after the 21-year-old Canadian visitor alleged he attacked her in February 2004.
The visitor alleged that Mundon told her to strip, that he held a knife up against her throat, and that he punched her in the ribs when she tried to get away.
The charges were dismissed when prosecutors failed to go to trial before state-sanctioned deadlines for a defendant’s right to a speedy trial.
This case will address different charges brought against Mundon in the same incident.
In 2004 Mundon was represented by an attorney in the public defender’s office.
While waiting for trial to begin, he asked the court that his public defender be released, and he became his own attorney because he wanted to represent himself.
- Cynthia Kaneshiro, staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 256) or firstname.lastname@example.org