Trial begins, defendant’s mom to testify

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LIHUE — Attorneys introduced opening statements Monday afternoon within the trial of a homeless girl accused of heroin possession. Right this moment, prosecutors will name her mom as their first witness.

Julia Scriven, 31, was arrested final yr and charged with promotion of a harmful drug — a category C felony — after her mom discovered her sleeping in a motel room close to a bag containing heroin and referred to as police.

The case is uncommon, not solely as a result of the state’s star witness is the defendant’s personal mom, however due to the truth that it went to trial within the first place. The overwhelming majority of all instances finish in plea bargains, and instances with prices as comparatively insignificant as this one are virtually at all times settled in pretrial negotiations.

Attorneys on either side declined to touch upon whether or not Scriven was supplied a plea deal in some unspecified time in the future within the 13 months since her arrest and wouldn’t provide a proof as to why precisely this explicit case is being resolved by jury trial.

Kauai County Deputy Prosecutor Leon Davenport started trial proceedings Monday afternoon in Fifth Circuit Court docket with a gap assertion addressed to a panel of jurors — eight girls and 4 males chosen from amongst a pool of Kauai residents earlier within the day.

Davenport mentioned Scriven’s mom, Laurie Scriven, got here to Kauai after studying her daughter had been “going via a tough time.” After arriving in Lihue, Laurie Scriven met up along with her sister, the defendant’s aunt, and the 2 girls checked right into a motel.

Davenport mentioned Laurie Scriven invited her daughter to the motel room for a go to and virtually instantly grew to become involved concerning the younger girl’s habits.

“She knew one thing wasn’t proper,” Davenport mentioned, telling the jurors that Laurie Scriven observed her daughter appearing unusually drained and talking in a low voice.

After Julia Scriven declined an invite from her aunt and mom to exit for dinner, preferring as an alternative to remain alone within the resort room the place she may relaxation, the 2 older girls left the room and went to a close-by restaurant, in accordance with Davenport.

“However one thing wasn’t sitting proper with Laurie,” Davenport mentioned describing a hunch that compelled the 2 girls to return to their room lower than an hour later. Laurie Scriven knocked on the door of the motel room, having left the one key behind. Receiving no response, she began knocking louder, ultimately yelling her daughter’s title and pounding on the door along with her fist, Davenport mentioned.

When there was nonetheless no reply, Davenport mentioned Laurie Scriven lastly resorted to breaking into her personal motel room. Afraid that one thing horrible had occurred to her daughter, Laurie Scriven broke out a part of a glass window and was capable of attain in and switch the doorknob.

Davenport informed jurors that Laurie Scriven entered the room and located her daughter unconscious and unresponsive, her respiration sluggish and shallow. Close to the mattress, she discovered a brown bag containing used needles and a “small, black globule” made from a substance that “smelled like licorice.”

Laurie Scriven referred to as police, and officers arrived to seek out Julia Scriven nonetheless unconscious. Additional inspection of the bag on the motel room flooring revealed rubber straps, extra needles and identification belonging to Julia Scriven. In accordance with police, chemical evaluation of the “small, black, licorice-smelling globule” later recognized the substance as heroin.

Julia Scriven’s court-appointed protection lawyer, Matthew Mannisto, gave a wholly completely different account of occasions resulting in his shopper’s arrest.

“Julia went to sleep, and when she awoke, she was surrounded by police,” Mannisto mentioned, telling jurors that Scriven was the sufferer of a plot concocted by her personal mom.

In his model of the story, Mannisto mentioned Laurie Scriven planted the substance presupposed to be black tar heroin within the motel room after her daughter fell asleep and referred to as police, realizing they’d discover the bag containing paperwork with Julia Scriven’s title on them together with an unlawful substance.

“She needed her daughter to be investigated by police,” Mannisto mentioned. “And he or she did what she may to make that occur.”

Scriven’s trial resumes at this time. Her mom is scheduled to reach on Kauai this morning and would be the first witness to take the stand.



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