New trial ordered in 2009 Honolulu murder - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

New trial ordered in 2009 Honolulu murder

Phillip Deleon Phillip Deleon
Shawn Powell and family Shawn Powell and family

By JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER
Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - The Hawaii Supreme Court is ordering a new trial for a man convicted of murder in 2009 because jurors weren't allowed to hear testimony that the shooting victim had cocaine in his system.

Phillip DeLeon was convicted of second-degree murder in the death of Shawn Powell, who was shot after an altercation at a Honolulu nightclub.

The ruling issued Wednesday says it was wrong to exclude expert testimony about cocaine in Powell's blood.

A spokesman for the Honolulu prosecuting attorney's office declined comment.

Former deputy prosecutor Megan Kau tried the case. She says the decision is shocking because the expert couldn't testify to a reasonable degree of scientific certainty.

She says it was tough to get witnesses to testify, which will make it difficult to try the case again.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Powered by Frankly