HONOLULU (KHON2) — There may be new turns in Juan Baron’s case, the man accused of killing and then concealing Gary Ruby’s body in concrete in a bathtub in his Hawaii Loa Ridge home in 2022. KHON2 spoke with Baron’s attorney, Myles Breiner, who said a plea offer was submitted last week and they’re waiting for a response from prosecutors.
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Legal experts said, it’s not uncommon for the defense to make a plea offer first. However, this case is unique, with a motion to dismiss by the defense due to alleged prosecutorial misconduct.
“Because the defense has leverage, the government now needs to seriously consider whether they amend the charge to something much lower or whether it’s going to try to argue the motion and agree with the state and not dismiss the case for prosecutorial misconduct,” said Megan Kau, a legal expert.
The defense alleges that a deputy prosecutor used materials and photos from the case, that are not public record, in public presentations. According to court documents, the defense said, the motion to dismiss seeks the truth to learn how much harm has been done to the defendant’s rights to trial by a fair and impartial jury. The defense has also subpoenaed two other deputy prosecutors to testify about what materials were used in the presentations, but the state has filed motions to cancel those subpoenas.
“In order to quash the subpoena, you’ve got to have a good basis, a valid basis for not requiring that person to appear in court. Based on the record, it seems that these witnesses have relevant information and if the motion moves forward to a hearing, they will be required to testify,” Kau said.
Legal experts said the judge will have to agree with the defense and government’s plea agreement before making a decision.
“A judge has to approve a plea bargain,” said Doug Chin, a legal expert. “So even though the defense and the prosecution have agreed on something, they then have to present it to the court and the court has to decide that this is ultimately the just and fair thing to do.”
KHON2 has reached out to the prosecutor’s office and are waiting to hear back. Baron is expected back in court on December 19.