Driver says he was never told of DUI trial
A state judge permanently dismissed DUI and hit-and-run charges against a Honolulu police officer Tuesday because the Prosecutor’s Office had twice failed to present thedriver and his two passengers as trial witnesses, but the driver now says he was never contacted about testifying.
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A state judge permanently dismissed DUI and hit-and-run charges against a Honolulu police officer Tuesday because the Prosecutor’s Office had twice failed to present the driver and his two passengers as trial witnesses, but the driver now says he was never contacted about testifying.
The charges against
Honolulu police officer Brent Sylvester can’t be refiled.
Reupena Ah-Key told police that Sylvester rear-ended his vehicle on the H-1 freeway near the Aiea offramp and then fled. He said he followed Sylvester to Sylvester’s Kailua home and called police.
State law requires law enforcement to test a driver involved in a traffic accident that results in death or injury for alcohol use.
Sylvester refused to be tested.
Ah-Key and one of his two passengers told police they suffered head and neck injuries in the collision.
Deputy Prosecutor Derrick Wong said multiple efforts to locate the witnesses were unsuccessful because he believes they were avoiding getting subpoenaed.
Ah-Key told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that Sylvester should be held responsible for what happened. He said he wanted to testify but that “I was never subpoenaed, I was never notified.”
Wong says he called Ah-Key’s cellphone regarding his injury from the incident before charging the case. Depending on the extent of injury, a hit-and-run can be charged as high as a Class B felony. The prosecutor said he left a voice message but did not get a call back. He charged the hit-and-run as a misdemeanor. He said an investigator and a person who tried to serve Ah-Key a subpoena also called Ah-Key’s cellphone, left messages and never got callbacks.
Ah-Key insists he did not get any phone messages.
Wong also said an investigator went to Ah-Key’s Waianae address before Sylvester’s Aug. 31 and Oct. 18 trial dates and that a subpoena server went there before the first trial date. He said they left their business cards with Ah-Key’s grandfather but never got a call from Ah-Key.
Ah-Key said his grandfather gets confused. He said he continues to receive and respond to mail sent to that address, including a letter from the Honolulu Police Department in April about the incident, but did not receive anything from the prosecutor.
He said he has been on temporary disability because of the injury he sustained in the April 3 collision with Sylvester.
Ah-Key’s attorney, Myles Breiner, said Ah-Key has more than $10,000 in medical expenses that will be more difficult to recover from Sylvester without a criminal conviction.