Tantalus Murder Suspect Wins Round in Court

Adam Mau
Adam Mau
Judge Dexter Del Rosario
Judge Dexter Del Rosario

HONOLULU (KHNL) - A victory in court Friday for the Tantalus triple murder suspect. A judge tosses out the evidence Honolulu Police took during a search of Adam Mau's home.

Homicide investigators seized boxes and boxes of items, including more than 40 handwritten notes and hundreds of photographs. But the defense asked the judge to throw out the evidence, saying the language in the search warrant was overbroad.

Sporting a buzz cut, Adam Mau arrived in court for the suppression hearing Friday afternoon. He's accused of fatally shooting a cab driver and a Kapahulu couple at a Tantalus lookout last July. He's also charged with tying up three people during a home invasion shortly after.

Last month, homicide detective Roland Takasato testified he went to Mau's home and seized photos, CDs, DVDs and other items that could be evidence of a pre-conceived plan, or evidence of the suspect's mental condition.

Judge Dexter Del Rosario ruled the language in the warrant wasn't specific enough, and that the search was unconstitutional.

"It gives the defendant control over his own property, property that was seized illegally from his home," Brook Hart, defense attorney, said. "So when a defendant has control over his own belongings and things and writings, he's usually better able to defend himself."

Prosecutors had no comment following the hearing.

The search of the house came after notes were recovered from the car Mau was driving the night of the murders. The notes are still part of the trial. They say 'Seize car at Tantalus,' 'Seize house after Tantalus' and 'Time frame for death of taxi driver is at 6:45-7:00 pm.'

Defense attorneys say Mau was suffering from a mental disorder.

Prosecutors may appeal Friday's ruling, a process that could further delay the trial.