New trial date set for officers charged in 2021 Makaha crash

Trial has been rescheduled for a third time for four Honolulu police officers charged in connection with a September 2021 Makaha car chase and crash that injured six people — two of them severely — and its alleged cover-up.

The officers’ trial is expected to start June 3 without further requests for continuance.


In May, officers Joshua J.S. Nahulu, 37; Erik X.K. Smith, 25; Jake R.T. Bartolome, 35; and Robert G. Lewis III, whose age was not listed, had their trial put off against the objection of city prosecutors, according to state court records.

Oahu Circuit Judge Paul B.K. Wong granted a joint motion Aug. 4 and again on Nov. 17 by attorneys for the four officers asking for a continuance, against the objections of Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Scott K. Bell.

“The defense requested the continuance (Nov. 17),” Brooks Baehr, spokesperson for the Department of Prosecuting Attorney, told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser in a statement. “He (Bell) was ready to go to trial.”

On Aug. 2 HPD Chief Arthur “Joe” Logan told the Honolulu Police Commission that the administrative investigation by the department’s Professional Standards Office was complete and that he disciplined each officer.

Nahulu’s attorney, Richard Sing, declined comment. Bartolome’s attorney, Pedric T. Arrisgado, Smith’s attorney, Doris D. Lum, and Lewis’ attorney, Benjamin R.C. Ignacio, did not immediately return Star-Advertiser requests for comment.

Nahulu is charged with collisions involving death or serious bodily injury for allegedly causing the crash near the corner of Farring ­ton Highway and Orange Street that paralyzed a teenager and left the driver of a white 2000 four-door Honda Civic with a traumatic brain injury. Nahulu faces a Class B felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Bartolome, Lewis and Smith are charged with first-degree hindering prosecution, a Class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison. Bartolome, Lewis and Smith were also charged with first-degree conspiracy to commit hindering prosecution, a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail.

Nahulu, Smith and Bartolome allegedly drove past the scene of the crash but acted as if they didn’t know about it when a police dispatcher sent them back to the scene.

The three officers allegedly gathered in the driveway of Waianae Intermediate School before the 911 dispatcher sent them to the crash.

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