Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Trooper David Morikawa - Appeal granted - conviction overturned

Also See
Trooper David Morikawa - Charged with criminal sexual conduct with his cousin [a minor]

Trooper David Morikawa - Sentenced - Criminal sexual conduct http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2011/08/trooper-david-morikawa-sentenced-iron.html

Trooper David Morikawa - Filed appeal on CSC conviction http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2012/01/trooper-david-morikawa-filed-appeal-on.html

Trooper David Morikawa - Paroled

Trooper David Morikawa - Appeal granted - conviction overturned http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2013/08/trooper-david-morikawa-appeal-granted.html

New trial for former Iron River trooper
October 30, 2013
The Iron Mountain Daily News
By NIKKI YOUNK - Staff Writer http://www.ironmountaindailynews.com/page/content.detail/id/543075/New-trial-for-former-Iron-River-trooper.html?nav=5002

IRON MOUNTAIN - The Michigan Attorney General's Office will not contest the Michigan Court of Appeals' decision to grant former Michigan State Police trooper David Morikawa a new trial on criminal sexual conduct charges.

In August, the Michigan Court of Appeals found that Morikawa, 39, had ineffective assistance of counsel during his July 2011 trial in Iron County on two felony counts of criminal sexual conduct-second degree.

Judges Michael Talbot, Kathleen Jansen, and Patrick Meter ordered that the case be reversed and remanded for a new trial.

Joy Yearout, spokeswoman for the office of Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, said that the office had until Oct. 22 to file an application with the Michigan Supreme Court to request that it hear the case.

However, the office has decided that it will re-try the case in Iron County Trial Court, she said.

"It's still early in the process, we're still waiting on details," said Yearout. "There's no trial date set yet."

She added that an attorney in the Michigan Attorney General's criminal division will prosecute the new case. Iron County Prosecutor Melissa Powell did not handle the original case, due to a conflict of interest.

Following Morikawa's conviction in 2011, he was sentenced to serve a minimum of one year and eight months in prison.

He is currently out of prison and on parole.

Morikawa, who used to work as a trooper at the now-closed Michigan State Police Iron River post, was accused of inappropriately touching a 12-year-old girl at his home in Crystal Falls in July 2009.

Appeals court grants retrial
August 30, 2013
The Mining Journal

IRON MOUNTAIN -The Michigan Court of Appeals has granted a new trial to a former Michigan State Police trooper who was convicted by jury in Iron County Trial Court in 2011 of two felony counts of criminal sexual conduct-second degree.

David Morikawa, 39, won the appeal on grounds that he had ineffective assistance of counsel.

Grant Carlson of Iron Mountain served as Morikawa's defense attorney during the 2011 trial. Due to a conflict of interest for the Iron County Prosecutor's Office, Special Assistant Attorney General Michael Stein of Traverse City prosecuted the case.

Appeals Judges cited the jury's deadlock and eventual juror substitution and Carlson's failure to "object properly to improper character testimony" from Morikawa's former co-worker F/Lt. Christine Grabowski of the Michigan State Police.

Ex-Michigan state trooper's sex case conviction overturned on appeal
7:20 PM, August 30, 2013
Detroit Free Press

A former Michigan State Police trooper convicted of second-degree criminal sexual conduct had his conviction overturned and a new trial ordered by the Michigan Court of Appeals earlier this week.

David Morikawa was convicted in 2011 of two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a 12-year-old girl. He was sentenced to 20 months in prison and was granted parole in March. He was a trooper at the Iron County post when convicted.

In its ruling, the court said Morikawa’s attorney during the trial didn’t do his job when the jury initially deadlocked.

According to the ruling, issued Tuesday, the jury deadlocked after several hours of deliberating. Jurors were brought back the next day for more deliberation and then sent the judge a note.

"Approximately an hour later, the court received a note indicating that one of the jurors, Juror K, had disclosed a sexual-misconduct investigation in his past," the court wrote in its ruling. "Juror K revealed that four or five years before the trial, he had been at a Christmas party and had touched a young girl during a group picture. He later learned he had been investigated and cleared of any wrongdoing.

"Juror K did not reveal the incident during (juror questions) because he did not believe it would affect his judgment and he did not want to bring attention to himself. He then indicated that he had received a lot of peer pressure in the jury room, and, without prompting, he volunteered to the court that he was one of the holdouts."

The judge at the original trial dismissed that juror and brought in an alternate. The judge then told the jury to renew deliberations. Morikawa’s attorney didn’t raise any objections.

However, state law says that the judge should have instructed the jury to begin its deliberations anew, and the attorney not pointing that out was an error.

"Given the intense debates and ‘peer pressures’ that had obviously been occurring in the jury room, with numerous individuals arguing for conviction, we find the accession to the improper jury instruction by defense counsel to be below an objective standard of reasonableness. Given the existence of the original two ‘holdouts,’ this was obviously a close case, and when viewed in light of the error ... we find that it could have had an effect on the outcome of the trial if the jury had begun deliberations anew with a new member and the fresh perspective that member would bring."

Morikawa’s new attorney, Mitchell Foster, said his client was pleased with the ruling.

"It’s nice to see that the Court of Appeals will uphold a defendant’s right to a fair trial."

Former state trooper convicted of sex crime gets new trial
by Ty Czarnopis
Posted: 08.28.2013 at 4:17 PM
Updated: 08.29.2013 at 11:30 AM

MARQUETTE -- The former Michigan State Police trooper that was originally sentenced for criminal sexual conduct will be getting a new trial due to ineffective legal counsel.

The Michigan Court of Appeals has granted a new trial to 39-year-old David Morikawa. He was originally sentenced to prison on two charges of second degree criminal sexual conduct with a 12-year-old girl.

The court of appeals acknowledges Morikawa's claim that he had "ineffective assistance of counsel and shown a fundamental unreliability with respect to his trial."

The original incident responsible for the charges against Morikawa happened in July 2009. His original sentence was for two concurrent prison terms of 20 months to 15 years. Morikawa was granted parole on March 14, 2013.

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