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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Thursday, July 22, 2004

Judge clears way for Mark's trial to resume

By David Waite
Advertiser Courts Writer

Circuit Judge Karen Ahn has ruled the state public defender's office does not have a conflict of interest in representing Shane Mark, which clears the way for Mark's trial for attempted murder to resume today.

Shane Mark

Ahn yesterday denied a defense request for a mistrial. She halted Mark's trial July 14 after his lawyers, state deputy public defenders Debra Loy and Theresa Marshall, notified the court of a possible conflict of interest.

The public defender's office earlier represented John Piko, one of the men Mark is accused of attempting to kill, on a felony forgery charge. Loy said she intends to call Piko as a witness for the defense and will attempt to discredit Piko's claims that Mark tried to shoot him Feb. 1, 2003, in the parking lot of the First Assembly of God church off Moanalua Road.

Loy argued that puts her in the untenable position of trying to impeach the testimony of one client of the public defender's office for the benefit of another (Mark).

Ahn yesterday ruled there is no conflict because the case in which the public defender's officer represented Piko is closed; it had no bearing on the case against Mark; a public defender other than Loy or Marshall represented Piko; and Loy and Marshall have not reviewed the public defender office files on the Piko case.

Mark was found guilty of second-degree murder in December for the March 4, 2003, shooting death of police officer Glen Gaspar, who had gone to the Kapolei Baskin Robbins ice cream parlor to arrest Mark in connection with the earlier shooting in Moanalua.

But the jury could not reach a verdict on a charge of attempted first-degree murder against Mark for allegedly trying to kill police officer Calvin Sung, one of five other officers who had gone to arrest Mark in Kapolei.

If convicted of attempted first-degree murder, Mark would face life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The jury also could not reach a verdict on a charge of attempted second-degree murder against Mark for allegedly trying to kill Piko in the church parking lot. Conviction for second-degree murder is punishable by life with the possibility of parole.

Reach David Waite at 525-8030 or at dwaite@honoluluadvertiser.com.