HPD detective cleared
of criminal misconduct

The attorney for a veteran police detective accused of misconduct in a murder case that ended in a hung jury said his client has been vindicated.

"She's been cleared of any criminal wrongdoing, as we expected, and we continue to cooperate with the Internal Affairs investigation," said attorney David Hayakawa who represents homicide Detective Sheryl Sunia.

Sunia was lead detective in a murder case in which Micah Kanahele and three others were accused of murdering Greg Morishima in October 2003.

Allegations of misconduct, including perjury, were contained in an anonymous letter to police Internal Affairs less than a month after the court declared a mistrial on April 11. Police opened a criminal and administrative probe into the allegations.

The findings of the criminal investigation were turned over to the state attorney general who determined that there was no basis for criminal charges, Deputy Prosecutor Lucianne Khalaf, who prosecuted the case, told Circuit Judge Michael Town yesterday.

Attorney General Mark Bennett was out of town and could not be reached for comment. Bridget Holthus, special assistant to the attorney general, confirmed the office has declined the case but couldn't comment further.

Attorneys for defendants in the murder case had sought copies of the letter, arguing they were entitled to it if it contained matters pertaining to Sunia's credibility.

Town agreed to review the letter and yesterday informed the attorneys he would release to them only a portion that he felt may be relevant, but not necessarily admissible, at trial. He also prohibited the attorneys from disclosing publicly the contents of the letter, citing the ongoing administrative investigation.

Attorney Richard Hoke, who represents Kanahele, said he doesn't know what the attorney general reviewed, nor the basis of the decision not to prosecute.

He has filed a motion to determine the admissibility of the portion of the letter released to the defense attorneys.

The defendants all face a retrial the week of July 25.

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