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Attempted murder charge dismissed for Napili man

Defendant released from jail Friday over arrest warrant delay

WAILUKU — An attempted murder charge was dismissed for a Napili man who was arrested last month, 17 years after a Maui County grand jury returned an indictment against him.

Vincent Guthery, 41, was released from jail Friday, after 2nd Circuit Judge Rhonda Loo dismissed the charge based on the delay in serving the arrest warrant.

“There is no acceptable reason for the lack of service within the 17 years that have passed,” she said.

She granted the dismissal without prejudice, so the state could decide to bring the charge again.

Guthery was indicted on the first-degree attempted murder charge in July 2002, six months after he was sentenced to a 20-year prison term for first-degree robbery, according to a motion seeking dismissal filed by Deputy Public Defender Danielle Sears.

The attempted murder charge stemmed from an assault on another inmate on Dec. 26, 2001, while he and Guthery were in custody at the Maui Community Correctional Center, the motion says. That day, Guthery was arrested for investigation of second-degree assault, then released pending investigation and taken back to the jail.

The other inmate was taken to the hospital and treated for his injuries before being released five days later, according to the motion.

It says the only attempt to serve the arrest warrant on Guthery was in August 2002 when the Maui Police Department sent a letter to the Honolulu Police Department requesting service of the warrant. A response letter in March 2003 said Guthery was “unserviceable,” and “confined in Arizona facility.”

The motion says there was no record of any other attempt to serve the warrant on Guthery “even though he was a Maui inmate being housed by a correctional facility in Arizona by the Department of Public Safety.”

Guthery was released on parole in April 2016 and was working in Lahaina, according to the motion.

He was arrested Oct. 24 on the bench warrant, with bail set at $100,000.

Sears had asked that the case be dismissed with prejudice “given the length of the delay.”

The prosecution agreed that the case should be dismissed but asked that the dismissal be without prejudice.

* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at lfujimoto@mauinews.com.