Warrant issued for man who spent decades behind bars

When he didn’t show up for his trial Friday in Wailuku District Court, a $5,000 warrant was issued for a man who spent more than 20 years in prison before his rape, kidnapping and burglary convictions were vacated and later dismissed.

Alvin Jardine III, 43, had sought the trial on a charge of third-degree theft from Walmart in Kahului. He was arrested on the charge Oct. 16, 2011.

Deputy Public Defender Aisha Hill said he didn’t know why Jardine wasn’t in court Friday morning. Hill said he had tried to call Jardine but his phone number wasn’t in service.

In asking to withhold the bench warrant, Hill said he expected to be able to reach Jardine through the Hawaii Innocence Project.

The organization represented Jardine when his felony convictions for four counts of first-degree sexual assault, three counts of attempted first-degree sexual assault, kidnapping and first-degree burglary were vacated in January 2011. Before then, Jardine had been serving a 35-year prison term after being convicted of the Dec. 28, 1990, knifepoint rape and assault of a 25-year-old woman in her Haiku home.

A new trial had been ordered for Jardine based on the results of new DNA testing of a tablecloth draped over a papasan at the victim’s residence during the attack. Saying it didn’t want to traumatize the victim again, the prosecution later dismissed the case.

Deputy Prosecutor Angela Correa said the state had been prepared Friday for the trial, which Jardine requested.

Correa cited Jardine’s “extensive criminal history,” including convictions for robbery, burglary, unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle and criminal property damage, in seeking a warrant for his failure to show up in court Friday.

In issuing the $5,000 warrant for Jardine’s arrest, Judge Blaine Kobayashi said Jardine had been in court Dec. 14 when Friday’s trial date was set.