LIHU‘E — Fifth Circuit Court Judge Randal G. B. Valenciano announced Monday morning he will conduct Kaua’i’s first jury trial since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in Fifth Circuit Court.
Jonathan Herrera, 31, from Kapa’a, will be the first case that goes to trial, a trial that was supposed to be conducted Monday, but was recalled for a continuance.
Herrera is facing charges of terroristic threatening in the second degree and open lewdness.
Pending a mental evaluation, the details in the case are sealed as part of the prosecution’s strategy to win the case.
Hawai’i State Deputy prosecutor David Loos wrote a request to disclose the records until the trial.
Herrera currently is pleading no contest to both misdemeanor charges.
At a Jan. 21 hearing, Herrera gave attorney Matt Mannisto permission to proceed without Herrera’s presence during the court hearing.
According to court documents, because of Herrera’s absence during the Jan. 21 hearing, Loos requested a “Notice to Appear” because he had concerns Herrera would not appear for the scheduled trial on Jan 25.
The court ordered a bench warrant in the amount of $10,000 if Herrera didn’t show up for court Monday morning.
Herrera also faces a hearing in a separate case on Feb. 17 for assault in the third-degree, a misdemeanor charge.
During the hearings, Mannisto requested that Herrera be referenced in court using the “she” pronoun, even though the defendant is identified using the “he” pronoun on public records.
Valenciano argued the relevance of Herrera’s gender wasn’t related to this case and by identifying the defendant as “she,” it might confuse the seven witnesses the prosecutors plan on calling in the trial.
It is unclear, as of press time, which pronoun would be used during the trial.
Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald ordered all trials statewide postponed on March 16, 2020, as a response to Gov. David Ige’s declaration of a state of emergency. Since then, there have been no jury trials conducted, and several cases continued with stipulations.
The trial is scheduled for February 1, 2021.