HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Last month, a jury found Dae Han Moon guilty in the Christmas night 2016 murder of 20-year-old Stevie Feliciano at Ala Moana Center.
But now, his lawyer is raising an unusual challenge: that Moon was charged with murder even before the victim was dead.
“When he was charged with murder, that person Feliciano was still a patient in the hospital and was still receiving visitors and still had people by his bedside," said attorney Victor Bakke.
“Legally he was not dead, physically he was not dead.”
The victim’s family is outraged.
“There’s no way they can say that ... my son died from his hands, from him shooting my son. He killed my son," his mother Fiti Feliciano said.
When Moon was indicted on Dec. 29, 2016, the victim was at Queen’s Medical Center where he was still on life support because he was an organ donor.
Prosecutors said that the day before the indictment, a doctor declared Feliciano brain dead. He was taken off life support the day after Moon was indicted.
But Bakke said the law requires that two doctors make the determination that someone is brain dead.
“If you’re going to do that, you can’t do that with one doctor. You have to do with with two doctors and you have to meet certain criteria," said Bakke.
Prosecutors said that requirement doesn’t apply to criminal cases.
“They’re all desperate, (Moon) is desperate to get out," added Fiti Feliciano.
If the judge sides with Moon, he could dismiss the case or order a new trial. A hearing is set for November 13.