Letters To The Editor

Don Chapman
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September 13, 2006 - MidWeek
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Colt’s case: facts

I want to thank Steve Murray for writing a MidWeek cover story about me. But there were some mistakes made that I really want to clarify.

Most importantly, I have never pled guilty to a single charge in my case. A jury found me guilty in my case. They also found me not guilty for the most serious crime I was accused of, sexual assault. After my trial some jurors wrote letters to the judge with concerns of what I had been found guilty of. One juror wrote she would have not found me guilty of any crime after learning more information about my case. Because of this and other evidence that strongly supported my case, I asked for a retrial and would have most likely been granted a retrial. This would have meant a one- to two-year-long trial process. The district attorney offered me a deal. Do not request a retrial, and I would be found guilty of trespass and burglary, with seven days in jail, 60 hours of community service and probation.


Facing years more of trial, or the ability to move on with my life, I accepted the offer. I testified in my case: I remember what happened that night. I had been intoxicated, so obviously it can make someone lack some memory, but I remembered that night and that situation. I even passed a polygraph test. I made a mistake that night and take full responsibility for my actions. But I think it is important to show that even though I was found guilty of trespass (for entering a dwelling unlawfully and uninvited), that two people testified that they witnessed the accuser inviting me to her dorm room that night. I was also found guilty of burglary (for remaining in a room unlawfully after being asked to leave). Although I passed a polygraph test when asked if I was ever told to leave the room, which I replied no.

The media since day one has done an extremely poor job of reporting my situation, and even today people continue to portray my situation untruthfully. I have been fortunate enough to have gained success and a great experience upon my arrival to Hawaii. I like to think that my good fortune has something to do with the evidence that supported my innocence in this case. Remember I was never accused of entering a female’s dorm room unlawfully, I was accused of sexual assault, and it was a jury that found me not guilty of that.

Colt Brennan

Manoa Editor’s note: Here is Steve Murray’s response:

“As Colt Brennan pointed out, the misinformation I used, that he had plead guilty to burglary and trespassing charges, had been reported in other publications in Hawaii and on the Mainland since the incident occurred in 2004, as well as throughout the Internet. I regret not double-checking with Colt.”

Windward homeless

Thanks to Jade Moon for her column on Steve Tayama, “Overcoming A ‘Homeless Attitude.’” I am hoping that the new batch of houseless people at Makapuu will also get a piece of land to build a village.

Regina E. Gregory

Honolulu

HPD needs CHP

Bob Jones’ The Wrong Way to Investigate Crashes hit the nail on the head. Honolulu’s finest have honed to a fine art traffic-jams-by-over-investigation. When a woman died in a single-car crash on H-1 near Pearl City about a year ago, the HPD tied up traffic so tightly that even Kakaako was gridlocked. Only my quick reaction prevented a blind-with-frustration driver from broadsiding me.

Once when I was leaving the San Francisco Bay Area during rush hour, traffic halted. But it began to move within 15 minutes and we merged into the right lanes. An SUV had flipped like a turtle, but the California Highway Patrol kept two lanes open.


Similarly, I was recently on Los Angeles’Pasadena Freeway when traffic halted. Within 15 minutes we were moving. A car was demolished on a railing, but the California Highway Patrol kept two lanes open.

Perhaps our Special Investigation Unit should ride shotgun with the CHP for a while. The CHP knows about accidents, they know traffic and they know how to keep it moving.

Howard C. Wiig

Honolulu

Send your letters to MidWeek Letters, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 500, Honolulu, HI. 96813; by fax to 585-6324, or by email to dchapman@midweek.com. Please include your name, address and daytime and evening phone numbers. We print only the letters that include this information, but only your name and area of residence will appear in print. Letters may be edited for clarity and space.
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