Evidence denied in Tantalus case
The judge agrees the search was too broad for items seized from the suspect's home
A state judge has ruled that prosecutors cannot use as evidence items seized from the Kaimuki home of accused multiple murderer Adam Mau-Goffredo. Circuit Judge Dexter Del Rosario agreed yesterday with defense attorneys that the search warrant was unconstitutionally broad and that police had failed to establish a connection with the crimes he allegedly committed on Tantalus to the 10th Avenue home he shared with his guardian.
Del Rosario's ruling means items including books, videotapes and photographs cannot be admitted as evidence at trial.
The ruling does not affect the seizure of items from the stolen car Mau-Goffredo was driving when he was arrested July 6.
Police recovered from the car two composition notebooks containing notes handwritten in calligraphy dated July 6 that police say appeared to outline his plan to commit crimes, including killing a taxicab driver. The writer also referred to himself as "God and King of Kings."
Mau-Goffredo is charged with offenses including first-degree murder after a crime spree on July 6 in which taxicab driver Manh Nguyen and a Kapahulu couple, Jason and Colleen Takamori, were shot in the head on Round Top Drive.
He also is accused of holding captive a Round Top Drive couple and their housekeeper, tying them up at gunpoint before fleeing in the couple's Jaguar.
Police Detective Roland Takasato testified that his affidavit in support of the search warrant had been based on the handwritten notes and the fact that Mau-Goffredo had been earlier diagnosed as schizophrenic.
The search warrant instructed police to seize any and all evidence not limited to documents, software, media recordings, receipts, billing statements, bank account information and photos that could be used to establish his state of mind at the time of the offenses, as well as any evidence of planning.
Deputy Prosecutor Kevin Takata declined to comment on the court's ruling or to say whether the state would appeal.
Defense attorney Brook Hart said "all of justice benefits" when the courts rule consistent with the Constitution.
"The court's ruling gives Mau-Goffredo control over his personal property -- property that was seized from his own home."