HPD officer's shoplifting trial postponed

James Yee
James Yee

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

WAHIAWA (HawaiiNewsNow) - The trial for a Honolulu police officer accused of shoplifting groceries has been postponed, after his attorney failed to show up at Wahiawa District Court Tuesday morning.

Officer James Yee, 48, is charged with fourth-degree theft. He's accused of stealing various grocery items from Times Supermarket in the Town Center of Mililani last December.

When the case was first called Tuesday, the court staff could not locate Yee and a $300 bench warrant was issued. The bailiff later discovered that the defendant had stepped outside the building and the warrant was recalled.

The second time the case was called, Yee informed the judge that his lawyer, Guy Matsunaga, was stuck in another courthouse and "should be on his way."

"Well, that's too late," Christopher McKenzie, District Court judge, said. "We don't run at his convenience."

The next hearing was set for May 19th.

"Mr. Matsunaga is going to have to explain to the judge presiding why he was not present today," the judge said.

The officer, a 20-year HPD veteran, has been stripped of his police powers pending the outcome of his case.

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