August 24, 2016 | 84° | Check Traffic

Top News

New trial ordered in 2009 Honolulu murder

  • CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COMA jury found Phillip DeJesus Deleon — seen here awaiting his verdict in Circuit Court — guilty of murder yesterday for the fatal shooting of another man in the parking lot of a Keeaumoku Street karaoke bar last year.
    CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM
    A jury found Phillip DeJesus Deleon — seen here awaiting his verdict in Circuit Court — guilty of murder yesterday for the fatal shooting of another man in the parking lot of a Keeaumoku Street karaoke bar last year.

The Hawaii Supreme Court is ordering a new trial for a man convicted of a 2009 murder because jurors weren’t allowed to hear testimony that the shooting victim had cocaine in his system.

Phillip DeLeon was convicted of second-degree murder in the death of Shawn Powell, who was shot after an altercation at a Honolulu nightclub.

The ruling issued Wednesday says it was wrong to exclude expert testimony about cocaine in Powell’s blood.

A spokesman for the Honolulu prosecuting attorney’s office declined comment.

Former deputy prosecutor Megan Kau tried the case. She says the decision is shocking because the expert couldn’t testify to a reasonable degree of scientific certainty.

She says it was tough to get witnesses to testify, which will make it difficult to try the case again.

No comments
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.