Hilo man found fit to stand trial on rape, murder charges
By John Burnett
A man accused of raping and killing his girlfriend's 5-year-old daughter has been found fit to stand trial.
Hilo Circuit Judge Glenn Hara on Thursday set a trial date of Aug. 9 for Anthony Serges Poulin. The 30-year-old Poulin is charged with second-degree murder, two counts of first-degree sex assault, and abuse of a family/household member for the brutal slaying of Javieanne Win on Labor Day weekend.
The body of Win, a first-grader at Chiefess Kapiolani Elementary School, was found Sept. 5 in the bathtub of the Wainaku apartment Poulin shared with Win's mother, Jennifer Abiley. An autopsy found the girl had been sexually assaulted and drowned.
About a dozen of Win's family members, including Abiley, were in court as a psychiatrist and two psychologists testified that Poulin has the capacity to understand court proceedings and to assist in his own trial.
"This is a gentleman who has an associate's degree with an average IQ," Dennis Donovan, a state Department of Health psychologist, said in response to a question by Poulin's court-appointed attorney, Stanton Oshiro. "... My sense is that he was willing to look at any options that you laid out as to what's best for him."
Donovan said he believes Poulin "could handle the stress of a trial."
Poulin, who's in custody in lieu of $1 million bail, was transferred from Hawai'i Community Correctional Center to O'ahu Community Correctional Center after going on a hunger strike. According to Oshiro, Poulin has been assaulted twice in the O'ahu jail and has since complained of "significant memory loss."
Another psychologist, Walter Jaeckle, said that he was initially concerned about Poulin's hunger strike, but discounted his allegations of diminished recall.
"Complaints are often exaggerated and magnified, and there's a long history of attempting to get reimbursement for things like that. Seems to be a bit of a pattern."
The prosecution didn't question any of the three mental health professionals.
"They all said that he would be able to understand the nature of charges in the proceedings against him, he's able to assist in his own defense, and he's able to communicate with his defense counsel," Deputy Prosecutor Kanani Laubach told the judge.
Oshiro argued that circumstances warrant a second round of examinations.
"Events have occurred that call into question the validity of the original conclusions relative to the issue of fitness to proceed, ... specifically, his ability to recall and relate specific information to counsel, and, if and when this matter proceeds to trial, and if Mr. Poulin chooses to testify, to a jury," he said.
Laubach and Oshiro both estimated the trial would take about six weeks.