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State v. Estrada


ate Officer Taguma and Estrada. The

IAD file allegedly contained information that Officer Taguma had been forced to resign from HPD for misconduct and violation of regulations. Bettencourt also asserted that the IAD file would show that Officer Taguma had lied on applying for employment with MPD by not revealing the true reasons for leaving HPD (Officer Taguma had written about wanting to move to Maui as the reason for resigning from HPD). After an in camera review, Judge Mossman ruled the IAD file plus Dr. Hall's materials were irrelevant and sealed them. Neither the defense nor State knew the contents of either item.

Officer Taguma then testified. During Officer Taguma's cross-examination, Judge Mossman prohibited inquiry into whether Officer Taguma would file a civil lawsuit against Estrada after the outcome of the criminal trial. Bettencourt, though, made Officer Taguma admit contacting a civil attorney (after the guilty verdict issued, Officer Taguma did file suit). Various other prosecution witnesses testified about Officer Taguma's injuries and the evidence indicating guilt.

Estrada first testified for the defense. Among the more significant defense witnesses, James Glasgow (hereinafter "Glasgow"), who was in custody on June 1, 1985 for drunken driving offenses, stated Officer Taguma had brutally assaulted him. Verna Inouye (hereinafter "Inouye") said Officer Taguma, while a Kahului, Maui airport security guard, had screamed at and threatened her for a minor parking violation in November 1984. Physician Dr. Peter Halford (hereinafter "Dr. Halford"), who had treated Officer Taguma at Queen's Hospital, observed Officer Taguma was habitually angry, verbally abusive, and had mental problems. Gamit refused to testify.

Judge Mossman, however, excluded the testimony of Officer Taguma's former employers, Thomas Higa (hereinafter "Higa") of Longs Drugs store and Francis Kamakawiwaole (hereinafter "Kamakawiwaole"), security chief of the Sheraton-Maui Hotel. Both ex-employers would have stated that Officer Taguma had "an attitude problem" while Kamakawiwaole added that Officer Taguma was a "pit bull." Judge Mossman also prevented bar hostess Maryanne M. (hereinafter "Maryanne") from taking the stand. She would have testified that Officer Taguma, while a Maui County liquor control inspector, had sexually harassed her, grabbed

her breasts, and threatened to use his official powers to have her fired unless she had sexual relations with him. Judge Mossman ruled such evidence irrelevant to Estrada's self-defense claims. Judge Mossman finally barred the testimony of psychiatrist Dr. Ned Murphy (hereinafter "Dr. Murphy") of Queen's Hospital. Dr. Murphy would have testified that Officer Taguma's bad behavior during recovery could not be explained by post-traumatic stress disorder (hereinafter "PTSD") but was due to preexisting character problems. Judge Mossman held this conclusion inadmissible because Dr. Murphy could not state with reasonable medical certainty that Officer Taguma had any propensity for violence or aggression.

On rebuttal, Dr. Hall testified that Officer Taguma's unruly actions at Queen's Hospital were caused by normal PTSD and not by any behavior problem. Other rebuttal witnesses also refuted the defense witnesses' testimony. The jury then retired for deliberations on February 4, 1986.

During deliberations, the jury asked for the self-defense instructions and Officer Taguma's plus Dr. Halford's testimony on Officer Taguma's behavior at Queen's Hospital prior to release. As per his usual custom, Judge Mossman thereupon entered the

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