Hawai‘i Supreme Court Affirms Murder Conviction in Salt Pond Slaying
The Hawai‘i Supreme Court today issued a ruling upholding the conviction of Koma Texeira, Jr., for Murder in the Second Degree, for the October 31, 2016, execution-style shooting of Jon Togioka near Salt Pond in Hanapēpē. In a 67-page opinion penned by Justice Richard Pollack, the Court affirmed Texeira’s conviction, ruling that DNA evidence linking Texeira to the crime scene was properly admitted and that any errors that occurred during the trial were harmless beyond a reasonable doubt.
Texeira was convicted by a Fifth Circuit Jury in March of 2018 following a jury trial before the Honorable Chief Judge Randal G.B. Valenciano and sentenced to life in prison in July of 2018. The case was prosecuted at trial by First Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jennifer S. Winn and Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Sean Van Demark. The appeal was litigated by Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Tracy J. Murakami. Christopher Calio of the Kaua‘i Police Department was the lead Detective on the case.
Prosecuting Attorney Justin F. Kollar stated: “We are grateful for the Supreme Court’s thorough review of the evidence and trial record and we are thankful they reached a just result. We hope this ruling can bring another milestone of closure to Jon Togioka’s ohana, who have remained in our thoughts throughout this process. We also thank Detective Calio and all the hardworking investigators and criminalists who helped make this prosecution successful. Without them we would not be able to do the work we do.”