LIHU‘E — The defense attorney in the Vicente Kotekapika Hilario murder trial took steps Tuesday to ensure that he would have full and fair cross-examination of material witness depositions.
Hilario, 25, of Anahola, is accused of the shooting death of 34-year-old Aureo Moore near Anahola Beach Park on Dec. 17, 2010. He is charged with first-degree murder, second-degree murder, retaliating against a witness, intimidating a witness and bribery of a witness.
In a continuation from the May 22 hearing, where Chief Judge Randal Valenciano of the 5th Circuit granted prosecutor motions for depositions of witnesses, he granted a defense motion to reschedule one to a date he would be available.
Defense attorney Keith Shigetomi said the deposition of Angienora Crawford was scheduled on a day he would not be available, and that the prosecution had not agreed to his request.
County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney John Murphy said that pursuant to deposition rules under state law, he sent communication to the defense for input and that it was scheduled without response.
He said subpoenas were already sent and requested the original date with possible defense presence via video conference.
Witnesses Kyler Hansen Loo and Crawford have their depositions scheduled in the coming week.
The third witness, David Manaku, has yet to have one arranged.
After a meeting in chambers with Shigetomi, Murphy and County First Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jake Delaplane, the judge agreed to reschedule the deposition. Valenciano also granted a defense request to have investigators present for both parties.
The deposition is requested when special circumstances arise with witnesses, and they may still be called to appear at trial. In this case Delaplane said there are out- of-state witnesses and the charges are serious enough to conduct it in the interest of justice.
The depositions must take place with Hilario present, and in coordination with the Kaua‘i Community Correctional Center.
Shigetomi requested a right to full and fair cross-examination of the witnesses. The court ordered the prosecution to determine deposition length and possible limitations from the correctional facility, and afford half that time to the defense.
An order of discovery regarding a possible police interview of Loo was also requested by Shigetomi.
He said two police interviews from 2010 were said to exist, with one recorded as evidence, and was told that no tape exists for the second.
Delaplane said that to his knowledge there is no recording of the second interview. He told the court he would check again with police and verify whether it does or not.
Testimony from a police interview may be admitted as evidence. The additional deposition allows direct questioning and cross-examination by prosecutors and defense attorneys prior to the trial.
The prosecution was concerned that the deposition issues were brought into open court when the defendant is charged with crimes against witnesses.
The safety of the witnesses has always been a concern of the prosecutor’s office, Delaplane said.
A status hearing is scheduled for Aug. 21.
The jury trial is Sept. 17 and expected to last four weeks.