Hawaii deputy prosecutor acknowledges shoving defense lawyer

HONOLULU — A Hawaii deputy prosecutor has acknowledged shoving a defense lawyer in a state courthouse, a state judge said.

Honolulu deputy prosecutor Emlyn Higa acknowledged shoving defense lawyer Myles Breiner but says he did so only after Breiner reportedly used offensive language toward him, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Friday.

Breiner has denied the accusation, officials said.

The encounter occurred in a state courthouse hallway Sept. 18 following a hearing on a criminal case for one of Breiner’s clients, authorities said. Higa is one of two deputies assigned to the case.

“Normally, when something like this happens, and it does happen among attorneys, things will get heated, sometimes people say things they don’t mean. We handle it between ourselves. We handle it as men,” Higa told Circuit Judge Paul Wong.

A hearing on Breiner’s request to disqualify Higa from the case was held Thursday, but Wong did not rule, court officials said.

“Disciplinary action has been taken,” a city Department of the Prosecuting Attorney spokesman said.

What happened was personal and had nothing to do with the case or the defendant, Higa said.

Breiner had undergone shoulder surgery before the incident and filed a statement with the state sheriff accusing Higa of assault, Breiner said. He also filed a temporary restraining order.

The parties are involved in plea negotiations, officials said. The next court hearing is scheduled for Oct. 28.


Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.com


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