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State of Hawaii v. Ray N. Puga

March 20, 2013

STATE OF HAWAII,
PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
RAY N. PUGA, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT AND HAZEL K.R. DAVIS AND RAMON A. ALCANTARA,
DEFENDANTS



APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE FIRST CIRCUIT (CR. NO. 10-1-0149)

NOT FOR PUBLICATION IN WEST'S HAWAII REPORTS AND PACIFIC REPORTER

SUMMARY DISPOSITION ORDER

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

Defendant-Appellant Ray N. Puga (Puga) appeals from a January 12, 2012 Judgment Guilty Conviction and Sentence (Judgment) entered by the Circuit Court of the First Circuit (Circuit Court).*fn1

On February 2, 2010, Plaintiff-Appellee State of Hawaii (State) charged Puga and co-defendants, Hazel K.R. Davis (Davis) and Ramon A. Alcantara (Alcantara), with attempted murder in the second degree in violation of Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) §§ 705-500 (1993), 707-701.5 (1993), and 706-656 (1993 & Supp. 2012). On October 25, 2011, following a jury trial, Puga was found guilty of the lesser included offense of reckless endangering in the second degree in violation of HRS § 707-714 (Supp. 2012).

On appeal, Puga raises a single point of error, contending that the Circuit Court was not authorized to impose restitution against him because his criminal misconduct did not cause the victim's losses, as required under the Hawaii victim restitution statute.

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, we resolve Puga's point of error as follows:

Puga argues that the jury's verdict as to reckless endangering in the second degree fails to provide a causal link, or a nexus, between Puga's conduct and the complaining witness's injuries and, therefore, Puga cannot be ordered to pay restitution pursuant to HRS § 706-646 (Supp. 2012), which provides, in relevant part:

§706-646 Victim restitution. (1) As used in this section, "victim" includes any of the following:

(a) The direct victim of a crime including a business entity, trust, or governmental entity;

(c) A governmental entity that has reimbursed the victim for losses arising as a result of the crime or paid for medical care provided to the victim as a result of the crime.

(2) The court shall order the defendant to make restitution for reasonable and verified losses suffered by the victim or victims as a result of the defendant's offense when requested by the victim. The court shall order restitution to be paid to the crime victim compensation commission in the event that the victim has been given an award for compensation under chapter 351. . .

(3) . . . Restitution shall be a dollar amount that is sufficient to reimburse any victim fully for losses, ...


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