Rights not read to accused baby killer until after some potential - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Rights not read to accused baby killer until after some potential key statements

Matthew Higa in green Matthew Higa in green
April Daniels April Daniels
Peter Carlisle Peter Carlisle

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Nearly two years after a toddler was thrown from a freeway overpass, his accused killer Matthew Higa appeared in court Wednesday.

At his pre-trial hearing, Honolulu police outlined their account of Higa's strange behavior, and allegations of drugs and an affair.

During the Roosevelt High School Alum's arrest, Higa made repeated outbursts such as 'Thank you for everything you've done for my family'.

The same officers who took him into custody on January 17, 2008 relayed what Higa said as they took the stand.

"He mumbled, 'I didn't mean to do it', and at that point I told him to shut up," said Officer Kevin Ching, who was the first to approach Higa.

Higa is accused of dropping 23-month old Cyrus Belt from a pedestrian overpass in Nuuanu, and onto the H-1 freeway.

The defense may argue that Cyrus was already dead before Higa allegedly took him.

But officers testified that Higa told them he was on ice, and that a lady told him to throw Cyrus, or else her husband or boyfriend would hurt or kill her.

The Honolulu Police Department cell block supervisor, April Daniels, also took the stand.

"He started talking about she had brown hair, she's my neighbor, she was running toward me, she's having an affair and some other portions I couldn't understand," said Daniels.

The testimony comes as Circuit Court Judge Dex Del Rosario listened to arguments on what evidence should or should not be admitted into Higa's murder trial next month.

The question is whether what Higa told police can be used against him.

"As far as you understand, no Miranda rights were given to him?" asked Defense attorney Randy Oyama.

"Not by me," said Officer Winston Leong, who was the second officer to arrive on scene and arrest Higa.

Higa's statements were made before his rights were read.

But there is one detective who still needs to take the stand and reveal his interview with Higa.

"This statement was done at the police department, the day after the event and was after there had been Miranda

warnings given to the defendant," said Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Peter Carlisle.

The pre-trial hearing continues tomorrow at 1:00 p.m.

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