Nakamura not guilty of hindering police

LIHU‘E — In Fifth Circuit Court on Monday, a jury found a Kapa‘a woman not guilty of hindering police in an attempt to arrest her cousin.

Alicia Jean Nakamura, 26, was charged with hindering the Kaua‘i Police Department on Sept. 27, 2010, while attempting to serve felony bench warrants for the arrest of Richard “Dewy” Henderson on two Class C felonies. Judge Kathleen Watanabe presided over the trial. Nakamura was represented by Lihu‘e attorney Daniel Hempey. Two KPD officers from the Vice and Narcotics section testified.

Officer Ginny Pia said that, as a known cousin of Nakamura’s, four KPD officers went to her Kapa‘a residence where Nakamura answered the door. After informing her they were looking for Henderson on two felony warrants, Nakamura said Henderson was a frequent visitor but that she had not seen him for three days.

Officer Eric Cospillo testified that he went to the backyard, saw Henderson sleeping in the enclosed patio and arrested him.

Both attorneys discussed the layout of the single-level home, with a main structure on stilts and a separate but adjoining lower-level enclosed patio with a stairway and an open outside door where Henderson was found.

Kaua‘i County Special Prosecutor Samuel Jajich said the evidence showed Nakamura hindered the apprehension of a person known to her who was wanted on felony warrants. He said the evidence needed little more than conventional wisdom to deduce that Nakamura was aware that Henderson was in the dwelling.

In his closing arguments, Hempey asserted that Nakamura saw Officer Cospillo walking past the side of the house to the backyard. If she knew Henderson was back there, then she would not likely have hindered his apprehension.

It took the jury about an hour to deliver a verdict of not guilty on both first and second degree counts of hindering. Following the verdict, Nakamura, who has another case pending, said she was grateful for the jury’s fairness and relieved that the year from the arrest leading up to the trial is behind her.

Nakamura did not testify and no reason was given. She does have a pending case in Fifth Circuit court scheduled for jury trial on Oct. 10, from an arrest on May 19, 2010, along with co-defendants Louis Kamal Salibi and Jesse Rodrigues for possession of methamphetamines and oxycodone.

Nakamura  is charged with six felony counts of third degree promotion of a dangerous drug, and one count each of second degree promotion of a dangerous drug and drug paraphernalia.

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