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State of Hawaii v. Francis K. Kekona

October 24, 2012

STATE OF HAWAII,
PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
FRANCIS K. KEKONA,
DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE FIRST CIRCUIT (CR. NO. 06-1-0224)

NOT FOR PUBLICATION IN WEST'S HAWAII REPORTS AND PACIFIC REPORTER

SUMMARY DISPOSITION ORDER

(By: Foley, Presiding J., Leonard and Ginoza, JJ.)

Defendant-Appellant, Francis K. Kekona (Kekona) appeals from the "Judgment of Conviction and Sentence (Counts I and III) Notice of Entry," entered December 20, 2010 in the Circuit Court of the First Circuit *fn1 (circuit court). After a jury trial, the circuit court convicted Kekona of Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) § 707-713 (1993), reckless endangering of the first degree (Count I) and HRS § 134-07(b) and (h) (Supp. 2005), ownership or possession prohibited of any firearm or ammunition by a person convicted of certain crimes.

On appeal, Kekona contends the circuit court erred when:

(1) it failed to grant Kekona's Motion for Judgment of Acquittal (Motion for Acquittal);

(2) the evidence was insufficient to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt;

(3) the jury instructions given by the court resulted in reversible error; and

(4) Plaintiff-Appellee State of Hawaii (State) committed prosecutorial misconduct to Kekona's substantial prejudice.

Upon careful review of the record and the briefs submitted by the parties and having given due consideration to the arguments advanced and the issues raised by the parties, as well as the relevant statutory and case law, we conclude Kekona's appeal is without merit.

III. DISCUSSION

(1) Kekona contends the circuit court improperly denied his Motion for Acquittal where substantial evidence supports his claim of defense of self and others.

Kekona testified that on December 27, 2005, he intentionally fired a firearm at the victim's occupied vehicle, striking the windshield. Subsequently, SOH charged Kekona with reckless endangering in the first degree.

The primary issue before the court was Kekona's state of mind. "[S]tate of mind is a fact that must be determined by the trier of fact based on direct and circumstantial evidence adduced at trial." State v. Van Dyke, 101 Hawaii 377, 387, 69 P.3d 88, 98 (2003) (internal quotation marks, citation and brackets omitted). A reasonable mind might fairly conclude that Kekona intentionally fired the firearm with the intent, knowledge, or reckless disregard to cause the victim's death or ...


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