Hawaii Supreme Court ruling allows gambling case to move forward
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
The state Supreme Court has cleared the way for Honolulu city prosecutors to restart a major gambling case.
The justices ruled Tuesday that Circuit Judge Randal Lee was wrong to disqualify Deputy Prosecutors Katherine Kealoha and Jacob Delaplane from pursuing the case. The two made mistakes in their indictment against nine game room owners and employees, and Lee said they were too inexperienced for the case.
However, the High Court said the prosecutors were competent and the case should have proceeded.
Judge Lee was not renewed.
The grand jury indictment came after a federal judge ruled people who use Products Direct Sweepstakes machines are gambling. Prosecutors say machines allowing players to bet on games of chance with the opportunity to win cash rewards constitute gambling, which is illegal in Hawaii. The federal ruling stemmed from a civil lawsuit against the city after police seized machines from game rooms.
It is not known when the case will go back to court.
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