Judge hears from witnesses in case involving Honolulu police officers charged in fatal shooting of teen

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HONOLULU (KHON2) — A judge heard from three witnesses on Tuesday to determine whether there is probable cause for murder and attempted murder charges against three Honolulu police officers involved in a shooting that killed a 16-year-old Micronesian boy in April.

Before the hearing could start, the judge had to rule on two motions filed by the defense. One was to disqualify deputy prosecutor Chris Van Marter, which the judge denied. Defense attorneys also argued that the case should be dismissed because a grand jury already declined to indict the three officers.

The first witness to testify in the preliminary hearing was a trauma surgeon who said that medical personnel applied CPR to 16-year-old Iremamber Sykap for over a half hour but was unsuccessful.

The second witness to testify was the medical examiner who said that Sykap had methamphetamine in his system.

The third witness was an HPD patrol officer who briefly described the wounds of Sykap when they were both in the ambulance.

Much of Tuesday’s hearing dealt with the motions filed by the defense. Many more witnesses are expected when the hearing resumes next week.

Police say Sykap was driving a stolen car that was linked to a crime spree before he drove it into the Kalakaua Stream on April 5. The others in the car ranged in age from 14 to 22.

His family filed a lawsuit in May saying officers have been harassing the family and are also asking HPD to release bodycam video and 911 calls because they believe the shooting was unjustified.

The hearing will resume next week Tuesday when prosecutors are expected to show bodycam footage from the shooting. There’s also more than a dozen witnesses that could be called to testify.

Tune into KHON2 at 6 p.m. for more on this story.

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