Spear to return for court hearing

LIHU‘E — After months of waiting, Dr. Harold C. Spear III will return to Kaua‘i from federal custody for a hearing in Fifth Circuit Court, the state attorney general’s office said Tuesday.

Spear, 60, is currently an inmate at Terminal Island, where he is serving a 12-year sentence for illegally dispensing controlled drugs by phone. His release date is scheduled for Oct. 29, 2022.

At a status hearing Tuesday, Hawai‘i Deputy Attorney General Gary K. Senaga, who made an appearance in court by phone, said that paperwork for an interstate agreement on detainers from the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and the warden of Terminal Island Federal Correctional Institution in Los Angeles has been received. The request to produce Spear on Kaua‘i has been processed.

Defense Counsel Nelson W. S. Goo, also appearing by phone as Spear’s court appointed attorney, had no objection to producing the defendant. He agreed with Senaga to produce Spear for a one-day court appearance to have Spear’s original Circuit Court indictment on two counts of prohibited acts dismissed.

The state indicted Spear in 2009 on illegal narcotics dispensing charges as a licensed physician in 2005 and 2006. He pleaded guilty to both state charges in 2010, but the matter was postponed until the newer federal charges were resolved in 2011.

Spear was allowed to withdraw his no contest plea to the state charges in May 2012 at the time of sentencing. The attorney general filed a new indictment reducing one of the charges to attempted dispensation of narcotics.

Goo said he would not guarantee that Spear would enter a no-contest plea as expected following the arraignment on the new charges. It is likely, he said, and if so the sentencing could follow if the court allowed.

Judge Kathleen Watanabe scheduled the status hearing for Feb. 27. If Spear pleads guilty or no contest, the court could sentence him to five years on each felony charge.


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