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Prosecutors take too long on goat theft trial; charges dismissed

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A state judge on Tuesday dismissed the criminal case against two men accused of stealing 23 goats from a Kahuku farm because the state took too long to take the men to trial.

Shannon Chun, 25, of Mililani, and Sherwin Mitchell, 25, of Waianae, had been charged with theft of livestock after Honolulu police arrested them on Sept. 25, 2013, for the theft of the 23 goats from Kahuku Goats farm one week earlier.

Deputy Prosecutor Lawrence Sousie admitted in court that the state did take too long to take the men to trial, but he asked Circuit Judge Colette Garibaldi for the opportunity to recharge the case.

Garibaldi denied Sousie’s request because she said she has other more serious cases on her calender awaiting trial. She noted that theft of livestock is a non-violent crime and although it is a felony, class C is the lowest felony on the books. She also questioned how committed the state was in prosecuting the case since Sousie is the third prosecutor the state assigned to the case.

Honolulu police had previously arrested another suspect, George Makaniole, 26, of Waialua, but released him without charges when they arrested Chun and Mitchell. The state charged Makaniole in February. His case is still pending.

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