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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 11:21 a.m., Monday, July 29, 2002

Deportation blocked in youth gang killing case

Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO A federal appeals court said today it will rehear an appeal over the deportation of a Waipahu man convicted in a fatal youth gang beating 15 years ago.

June Bayudan was 16 when he took part in the deadly attack on 17-year-old Rowen Miguel, a bystander caught in a fight between two rival youth gangs in Waipahu in 1986.

Bayudan and two others were convicted of manslaughter in 1995 and he was sentenced to a year in prison and five years probation.

The three had been tried for murder in 1990, but that jury failed to reach verdicts in the case. Two other men were convicted of murder in a separate trial.

The immigration service began deportation proceedings against Bayudan in 1998, but he argued that manslaughter is not a crime of moral turpitude that would trigger deportation. He also argued his deportation to his native Philippines would cause extreme hardship to his wife.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected his appeal in January of last year and this past April 15 rejected his petition for reconsideration based on new reasons not brought in his original appeal.

In an order today, the appeals court said it is setting aside its April 15 ruling that it could not hear Bayudan's case because his conviction qualified as an "aggravated felony." But because his one-year sentence was later amended to 364 days, it falls one day shy of the definition of an aggravated felony, the court said.

The appeals court said the remaining issue is whether manslaughter under Hawai'i law qualifies as a "crime of moral turpitude."

It has given Bayudan's attorney 30 days to file his brief, the government 30 days to respond and Bayudan 15 days to reply to the government's brief.

Until the court rules, Bayudan's deportation order is blocked.