(BIVN) – On June 6, the Hawaiʻi Supreme Court heard oral arguments in State of Hawaiʻi vs. William Roy Carroll III.
The appeal was filed by Carroll, who was found guilty of various counts relating to the September 2015 vandalism of the bronze spear, or ʻihe, held by the statue of King Kamehameha at Wailoa State Park in Hilo.
The Hawaiʻi Supreme Court provides this brief description of the case:
On May 20, 2016, a jury in the Circuit Court of the Third Circuit (“circuit court”) found Petitioner / Defendant- Appellant William Roy Carroll III (“Carroll”) guilty of the following three counts: (1) Theft in the Second Degree, in violation of Hawai?i Revised Statutes (“HRS”) § 708-830(1) and HRS § 708-831(1)(b); (2) Criminal Property Damage in the Second Degree, in violation of HRS § 708-821(1)(b); and (3) Theft in the Third Degree, in violation of HRS § 708-830(1) and HRS § 708-832(1)(a), as amended. These counts were premised on charges that on or about September 6, 2015: (1) Carroll obtained or exerted unauthorized control over and damaged a bronze spear, valued at over $300, that was a part of a statue of King Kamehameha belonging to the Kamehameha School Alumni Association; and (2) Carroll had also obtained or exerted unauthorized control over a four-foot pipe and forty-foot chain, valued at over $100, belonging to Bayfront Motors Incorporated. Carroll was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment, and the circuit court denied Carroll’s request for a stay pending appeal.
Carroll timely appealed to the Intermediate Court of Appeals (“ICA”), arguing the circuit court erred when: (1) it denied his challenges to two jurors for cause — each of whom had been exposed to prior media coverage and demonstrated other potential reasons for bias, but who had been “rehabilitated” after long colloquys with the circuit court — instead requiring him to excuse those jurors by using two of his peremptory challenges, which he would have used to excuse other jurors on the voir dire panel; (2) it denied his Motion for Judgment of Acquittal, as the State failed to adduce sufficient evidence of the values of the spear and pipe and chain; and (3) it sentenced Carroll to five years’ imprisonment, which far exceeded the sentence of probation suggested by the State at an earlier plea hearing, thereby penalizing him for exercising his right to trial. The ICA rejected these challenges and affirmed the circuit court’s judgment and conviction. See State v. Carroll, No. CAAP-16-0000593 (App. Oct. 31, 2018) (SDO).
In his appeal, Carroll posed the following:
- Did the Intermediate Court of Appeals gravely err in holding Carroll’s challenges to jurors for cause were not erroneously denied and Carroll’s right of peremptory challenges was not violated.
- Did the Intermediate Court of Appeals gravely err in holding that [the] trial court did not erroneously deny Carroll’s Motion for Judgment of Acquittal[?]
- Did the Intermediate Court of Appeals gravely err in holding that the trial court’s sentence did not improperly penalize/punish Carroll for exercising his right to trial?
The above video contains the full audio recording of the oral arguments, as provided by the Hawaiʻi Judiciary. The graphics and the file video was produced by Big Island Video News (Dave Corrigan recorded the statue video and Daryl Lee recorded the courtroom video).