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State v. DeCaires

Intermediate Court of Appeals of Hawaii

November 30, 2015

STATE OF HAWAI'I, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
SCHUYLER G. DeCAIRES, Defendant-Appellant

As Amended December 24, 2015.

APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE FIRST CIRCUIT. (CR NO. 51238).

On the briefs: Randall K. Hironaka, (Miyoshi & Hironaka), for Defendant-Appellant.

James M. Anderson, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, City and County of Honolulu for Plaintiff-Appellee.

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

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Petitioner-Appellant Schuyler DeCaires (DeCaires) appeals from the denial of his request for post-conviction relief pursuant to Hawai'i Rules of Penal Procedure (HRPP) Rule 40.[1] We affirm.

BACKGROUND

I.

In 1980, DeCaires was convicted of first-degree rape and first-degree robbery. The Circuit Court of the First Circuit (Circuit Court) sentenced DeCaires as a persistent offender to an extended term of life imprisonment with the possibility of parole. DeCaires' convictions and sentence were affirmed by the Hawai'i Supreme Court in 1982.

On June 16, 2010, DeCaires filed a petition for post-conviction relief, arguing that his extended term of imprisonment violated Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466, 120 S.Ct. 2348, 147 L.Ed.2d 435 (2000). The petition was denied by the Circuit Court and affirmed on appeal.

On December 2, 2011, almost thirty years after his convictions and sentence had become final, DeCaires filed a " Motion for DNA Testing" pursuant to HRS § 844D-121 (2014). In his motion, DeCaires requested DNA testing of the following evidence he claimed was in the custody of Plaintiff-Appellee State of Hawai'i (State): (1) a rape kit collected from the complaining witness (CW); (2) the CW's panties; (3) the CW's blouse and any other items used to convict him.

II.

A.

Because of DeCaires' delay in bringing this motion, there were no available pre-trial or trial transcripts of the underling criminal case. DeCaires testified at a hearing held on the motion. According to DeCaires, at his 1980 jury trial, he recalled that a tampon was admitted into evidence, which the CW testified she had removed. DeCarries asserted that the CW's brassiere and panties were also admitted into evidence, and he related that the CW said she had taken off her brassiere and panties and placed them on the side. He believed the CW testified that she put her panties back on after the attack. DeCaires did not recall any testimony at trial that the CW's attacker had made contact with the CW's brassiere or panties. DeCaires recalled testimony regarding a rape kit. DeCaires stated that according to the CW's testimony, a rape kit was performed on the CW, but not on the day of the attack. He did not remember how many days later the rape kit was obtained. DeCaires also stated that a medical examiner of some kind had testified at trial that " there was traces of male semen in the rape kit" and that the rape kit had been moved into evidence at trial.

On cross-examination, DeCaires agreed that Robert Rapoza (Rapoza) testified at trial: (1) that Rapoza went to high school with DeCaires; (2) that Rapoza was at the hiking trail with DeCaires before the incident occurred; and (3) that after DeCaires came home that night, DeCaires admitted to Rapoza that he " raped a chick[.]" ...


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