HONOLULU (KHON2) — The murder trial of Juan Baron was scheduled to begin on August 29, but a motion filed by his attorney is now pushing that date back.
The lawyer asked the judge to order the government to hand over evidence intended to be used in court.
They are asking for recorded statements made by one of the prosecutor’s possible witnesses back in June, as well as any recordings of Baron’s phone calls made from jail that were reviewed by prosecutors.
Legal expert Doug Chin said a motion like this is expected during a high-profile murder case.
“It’s not surprising at all, that Mr. Baron’s defense team is going to want to do everything that they can to find out what those statements are, and then criticize them and try to get them thrown out,” Chin said. “And try to convince a judge that those statements should never be heard by a jury.”
Baron’s attorney also asked for the names, addresses and phone numbers of those the prosecution intends to call as witnesses.
Chin said it is their right to request that information as part of the discovery process. He said there could be several reasons why the information requested has not been handed over yet.
“There can be a lot of different circumstances for why the prosecutors haven’t provided every statement, maybe it wasn’t even recorded at all,” Chin said. “Or maybe there hadn’t, there needs to be a transcript. All of that is going to be explanations that the prosecutor is going to have to make to the court.”
Baron is accused of killing 73-year-old Gary Ruby inside his home. Police discovered Ruby’s body encased in concrete inside a bathtub back in March.
Chin said when preparing for a trial, both the prosecution and defendants want to collect as much information as possible from the other side, which could lead to a delay.
Chin said, “These trials do get extended out and postponed because both sides want to be able to look at all the evidence, prepare all the arguments that they can.”
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KHON2 reached out to the Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney’s office and the defendant’s lawyer for comment, and we are awaiting to hear back.