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HPD officers accused of fraud ask for jury trials

Four more Honolulu police officers accused of falsifying attendance reports at DUI checkpoints have asked for jury trials.

The lawyers for officers Christopher Bugarin, Patrick Bugarin, Leighton Kato and Sgt. Aaron Bernal appeared in Honolulu District Court this morning to make the requests on behalf of their clients. None of the officers was present.

Two other officers, Michael Krekel and Sgt. Duke Zoller, previously asked for jury trials. Their trials are scheduled for next month in state Circuit Court.

A seventh officer, Brian Morris, has yet to indicate whether he wants a jury trial or bench trial.

All of the officers are charged with tampering with a government record. In addition, Bernal and Zoller are charged with third-degree theft for allegedly receiving pay for duty they did not perform. All of the charges are misdemeanors punishable by up to a year in jail and $2,000 fine.

The state said the officers’ actions forced it to dismiss more than 200 DUI cases.

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