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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, January 21, 2010

Motion denied to remove judge in child-death case

Advertiser Staff

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Matthew Higa

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Circuit Judge Dexter Del Rosario yesterday denied a defense motion to disqualify himself from the trial of accused child killer Matthew Higa.

The motion was filed by Higa lawyer Randall Oyama.

A portion of Oyama's motion was based on his mistaken belief that Del Rosario was responsible for rulings in another case in which Oyama is also the defense attorney, the judge said yesterday.

In fact, the rulings were made by another judge because Del Rosario was on vacation at the time, explained Del Rosario.

The murder trial of Higa will be a nonjury trial and Del Rosario will preside over the case, which is set to begin Monday morning.

Higa allegedly threw 23-month-old toddler Cyrus Belt from a freeway overpass into oncoming traffic in January 2008.

Prosecuting Attorney Peter Carlisle is presenting the case against Higa.