Hawaii, Kauai

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Hawaii, Kauai

Postby budman » Wed Apr 12, 2006 8:15 am

The Kauai Garden Island News wrote:April 12, 2006 - 8:11 A.M.


Trial date set for wrongful raid

By Cynthia Kaneshiro -The Garden Island

A jury-trial date is set in the home-invasion case involving Sharon and William McCulley of 'Oma'o and officers of the Kaua'i Police Department.

April 17 is the date for the federal court case, said John Rapp, an attorney for the McCulleys, on Monday.

He indicated that there is always the possibility of a settlement before the case goes to trial.

David Minkin, special counsel for Kaua'i County, said that, at this point in time, it is way too early to make a determination about a settlement.

There is initial discovery to be done, said Minkin.

The McCulleys allege that police invaded their home last year without a warrant while they were looking for a box of marijuana they later found at a nearby home. The couple claims that the raid left them with medical expenses and emotional distress.

They were babysitting their two grandchildren when police entered their home unannounced in March 2005.

The police were following a box of marijuana that was mailed from California to the Koloa post office. A transmitter was put into the box, and the police lost track of the box and went into the couple's home.

According to court records, neighbors who saw what happened could be interviewed to give their accounts of what they saw. The police officers involved in the incident could also be interviewed.

Doctors could also be interviewed to determine the extent of the couple's medical bills, treatment and care, along with what kinds of emotional suffering they have as a result of the raid.

Court papers also show that information will be needed about the transmitter that was put in the box.

Additionally, the three who were arrested in relation to the marijuana box could also be interviewed, according to court records.

In court papers, William Mc-Culley said police came in yelling, "get down, get down." He pointed out in court papers that he did not have time to comply with the order before he was thrown to the floor from his wheelchair.

Court records reveal that he broke his left foot while on the job in 2001. The injury led to a nervous system disorder called reflex sympathetic dystrophy, a chronic-pain condition, and an electrical device was implanted in his spinal cord to alleviate pain.

The device went haywire and he was "electrocuted" when he was thrown down, according to court records.

"I was flopping on the ground," he said in court papers.

Court records show that the raid aggravated his condition, for which there is no cure.

Both McCulleys claimed that they have post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the raid.

The incident caused them to distrust the police in general, and left them jumpy, they said.

Cynthia Kaneshiro, staff writer, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 252) or ckaneshiro@kauaipubco.com.

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