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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, February 4, 2010

Matthew Higa to hear fate Feb. 11 for throwing Hawaii boy off H-1 overpass

By Jim Dooley
Advertiser Staff Writer

The trial of accused child killer Matthew Higa has ended and the judge will deliver his verdict Feb. 11.

City Prosecutor Peter Carlisle and defense attorney Randall Oyama each delivered 20-minute closing arguments this afternoon before Circuit Court Judge Dexter Del Rosario.
Carlisle said the defense’s assertion that 23-month-old Cyrus Belt was unconscious or dead before Higa threw the boy off a freeway overpass was “an imaginary scenario woven together by guesswork and speculation.”
Higa was “under the influence of, and intoxicated by, crystal methamphetamine” when he intentionally threw the toddler “to his death on the freeway below,” Carlisle said.
Oyama cited testimony from a medical expert that the child did not move or display reflexive reactions when he was thrown from a height.
“The child was dead or unconscious prior to the fall,” Oyama said.
And Oyama suggested that the boyfriend of Cyrus’ mother was responsible for the death of the boy.
He called the boyfriend, Shane Mizusawa, “a known felon who abuses drugs.”
There was no testimony or evidence introduced at the trial about how Higa, 24, gained custody of Cyrus before witnesses saw Higa walk onto the Miller Street overpass and throw the child 30 feet down into oncoming traffic on the H-1 Freeway.
Before the final arguments were delivered, Del Rosario questioned Higa about his understanding of his constitutional rights in the case.
Dressed in a blue shirt decorated with pictures of beer bottles and cans, Higa answered the judge’s questions with clear “Yes, sir” and “No, sir” responses.
When Del Rosario asked, “Do you want to testify in this case?” Higa quickly answered, “No, sir.”
Del Rosario asked the parties to return to court the afternoon of Feb. 11 to hear his verdict.