criminal case review

Burglary and Abuse Charges Dropped For Maui Man Case Review

criminal case review


A man who was worried about the safety of his daughter, went into a Makawao home and took her away from former girlfriend who had spent the night there. He was later charged with burglary and abuse.


A Maui man went looking for his 3-year-old daughter after his girlfriend (and mother of the child) didn’t return to their Makawao residence after attending a friend’s baby shower. After unsuccessfully trying to contact the mother on her cell phone as the night went on, he began searching for them in fear that perhaps the mother was drinking and his daughter was in danger.

He tracked her down at a friend’s house, tore the screen door to reach the door handle inside and let himself in. The home-owner saw him do so and directed him to the bedroom where his girlfriend and child were sleeping.

He then found his daughter, picked her up in his arms and turned to leave. His girlfriend came after him to stop him and he pushed her away.

He returned to his Makawao residence with their daughter.


The charges against this man were first-degree burglary for tearing a screen door to unlock the deadbolt to let himself in, and felony abuse for hitting his girlfriend in the face.

Argument by Defense Attorney David Sereno:

Maui defense attorney David Sereno argued in his Client’s defense saying that his Client did not go to the homeowner’s house to commit a crime. His intention was to get to his three-year-old daughter and bring her home. In the home, he did not commit a crime. “She came at him. He pushed her away, that’s all he did.”


This trial began with jury selection on February 13th presided by Judge Cardoza. After the closing arguments were heard, the jury reached their verdict in 30 to 40 minutes on March 13, 2017. The 2nd Circuit Court jury found the man not guilty of first-degree burglary and felony abuse.

“My client is very grateful, and I’m very grateful that the jury paid attention to the facts in the case and refused to convict an innocent man,” said Maui defense attorney David Sereno.