KAILUA-KONA » A judge has denied a request from a police officer charged with assaulting his 72-year-old neighbor in Kailua-Kona to have his case thrown out.
Officer Jami Harper’s attorney had sought to have the charges dismissed. He filed a motion to disqualify the prosecutor’s office from the case, citing personal and professional ties between Harper and members of the office. But 3rd Circuit Court Judge Ronald Ibarra denied the motion Thursday, West Hawaii Today reported. Ibarra determined that there had been no complaints of misconduct and that the relationship between Harper and the prosecutors was only as a witness in their cases.
The 39-year-old Hawaii Police Department officer was arrested Jan. 27 following a confrontation with the man at their apartment complex. Harper had reportedly gone up to the victim’s apartment and started a fight with him.
The victim suffered a broken nose, bruising to his right eye and arm and needed stitches for a cut above his eye.
Harper was hospitalized for an undisclosed medical condition.
During the preliminary hearing, Harper testified he had gone to the man’s apartment because of a loud noise. He said the man grabbed him at the door and that he took the man to the ground and restrained him, as part of his training.
His trial date has been set for July 26.