Immediate commencement of litigation proceedings in case of State v. Myisha Lee Armitage

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Introduction
We the family and friends of the late Kaulana Matthew Auwae Werner would like to request the immediate commencement of the litigation proceedings in case number 1CPC-17-0000342 – State v. Myisha Lee Armitage (Defendant). Our patience in the 17-months since the tragic crash which occurred on April 24, 2016, has been put to the test, however, we have withheld our sentiments to show solidarity and respect for the judiciary system in Hawaii. We have the utmost belief that justice will prevail and the laws of our state will be upheld. We are asking of your approval to proceed with this case as it has an immense impact on our daily lives, as we try to pick up the pieces and be at peace with the loss of our loved one.

Background
On the evening of April 24, 2016, a vehicle operated by the alleged Defendant struck and killed our beloved son, Kaulana. He was pronounced dead at the scene and the Defendant was nowhere to be found as she had allegedly fled the scene of the crash. Authorities later found her a half a mile away allegedly attempting to tow her vehicle away by an alleged acquaintance. She was arrested at the scene and charged with the offenses of ‘Accidents Involving Death or Serious Bodily Injury,’ ‘Negligent Homicide 1 Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence of an Intoxicant in conjunction to or in combination with ‘Operating a Vehicle in a Negligent Manner.’ The Defendant had posted bail in the amount of $11,000 and is now free to live out her life in our communities.

On March 29, 2017, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, Chastity T. Imamura, filed case number CPC-17-0000342 in an indictment against the Defendant on two counts: Count 1 – Accidents Involving Death or Seriously Bodily Injury (291C-12 HRS); Count 2 – Negligent Homicide in the First Degree (707-702.5 (1)(a) and/or 707-702.5 (1)(b) HRS). Under Count 1, the Defendant is named as being the driver of the vehicle involved in the crash on April 24, 2016. Under Count 2, the Defendant is being noted as “vulnerable” while under the influence of drugs or alcohol causing the death of Kaulana.

On April 13, 2017, the Defendant appeared before Judge Colette Garibaldi for arraignment at which time she entered a plea of not guilty. Judge Garibaldi issued a jury trial date of June 12, 2017 to commence proceedings in the 23rd Division under Judge Paul Wong.

As court records indicate, on May 17, 2017, at the Defendant’s request and approved by Judge Wong, a continuance was issued with a new jury trial date of September 18, 2017. There was no reason noted in the public record for the request. Although, it is on record that an objection was made by the State to the request, however, overruled.

As court records further indicate, on August 24, 2017, once again at the Defendant’s request and approved by Judge Wong, a continuance was issued with a new jury trial date of January 22, 2018. There was no reason noted in the public record for the request. Furthermore, the request was agreed upon by the State with a stipulation that the Defendant will provide a written waiver to Rule 48 of the Hawaii Rules for Penal Procedure (SCRU-11-0000083) which after further research is headlined as “Dismissal.”

No further information is available.

Closing Remarks
Enclosed you will find a petition supporting the movement to proceed with court litigations in this case. It is clear from what is publicly available that there is sufficient evidence to proceed and a need for justice to be served in a case that is almost 1.5 years old. To prevent tragedies such as this from occurring in the future, there needs to be a level of accountability taken by the Defendant. Our communities need to be aware of the repercussions that could occur due to poor judgement and by operating a weapon (i.e. vehicle in this case) while impaired. We are taking a stand against drunk driving and we urge you to do the same. We would like this case to proceed immediately when legal obligations on the Defendant’s part have been met.

Sincerely,
Mr. and Mrs. Edward Werner



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