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State v. Oshiro

Intermediate Court of Appeals of Hawaii

October 30, 2013

STATE OF HAWAI'I, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
KAREN OSHIRO, Defendant-Appellant.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION IN WEST'S HAWAII REPORTS AND PACIFIC REPORTER

APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE FIRST CIRCUIT (CR. NO. 10-1-0483).

On the briefs:

Jennifer D.K. Ng J Deputy Public Defender Chief Judge for Defendant-Appellant.

Anne K. Clarkin Deputy Prosecuting Attorney City and County for Plaintiff-Appellee.

Nakamura, C.J., and Fujise and Reifurth, JJ.

SUMMARY DISPOSITION ORDER

Defendant-Appellant Karen Oshiro (Oshiro) appeals from the Judgment of Conviction and Probation Sentence (Judgment) filed on December 23, 2010, in the Circuit Court of the First Circuit (Circuit Court), [1] Plaintiff-Appellee State of Hawai'i (State) charged Oshiro with knowingly or intentionally violating an injunction against harassment, in violation Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) § 604-10.5(h) (Supp. 2009). A jury found Oshiro guilty as charged. The Circuit Court sentenced Oshiro to one year of probation, subject to the special condition that she serve 150 days in jail.

On appeal, Oshiro contends that: (1) the Circuit Court abused its discretion in admitting evidence which she characterizes as "prior bad acts"; (2) the Circuit Court plainly erred in failing to sua sponte give a limiting instruction regarding that evidence; and (3) there was insufficient evidence to support her conviction. We affirm.

I.

A.

The complaining witness (CW) and Oshiro were neighbors. The CW and his wife resided on property that had an easement over a driveway that provided access to two cottages behind their property. Oshiro lived in one of the cottages. The access easement was approximately 10 to 12 feet wide and ran past the CW's house to the back of his property. The CW's wife was a botanist and had cultivated a variety of plants, including plants that bordered along the access easement. Many of the plants grown by the CW's wife were edible and were used by the CW and his wife in their cooking.

On January 20, 2010, the CW and his wife as Petitioners obtained an amended order granting their petition for injunction against harassment, which imposed restrictions on Oshiro for a three-year period. Under the injunction order, Oshiro was restrained and enjoined from contacting, threatening, or harassing the CW and his wife and from possessing any firearm or ammunition. In addition, the injunction order prohibited Oshiro. from "touch[ing] any of Petitioners' plants which are planted along the access easement on Petitioners' property."

Prior to trial, Oshiro moved in limine to exclude evidence of Oshiro's criminal record, other "bad acts, " and acts that may not technically be considered bad acts but were irrelevant or unfairly prejudicial. The specific acts and evidence identified by Oshiro were: (1) cases in which Oshiro was the defendant or suspect; (2) references to a bench warrant being out for Oshiro's arrest; (3) the CW's statement to the police that he "was pretty certain that [Oshiro] will once again pull the plant along the easement"; (4) the transport of Oshiro to Queen's Hosptial; (5) references to Oshiro's mental health; (6) any prior instance of Oshiro using a knife to hurt herself; (7) any conduct requiring the use of ...


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