State v. AckerAnnotate this Case
William and Maryann Acker, a married couple, were involved in a string of crimes in California and Hawaii in 1978. In California, Maryann was convicted of Cesario Arauza’s murder. In Hawaii, William pleaded guilty to robbing Lawrence Hasker, and Maryann was found guilty of Hasker’s murder and other charges regarding the robbery of Joseph Leach. William later testified under oath in California that he was solely responsible for Hasker’s murder. In 2007, Maryann was granted a new trial in relation to the charge for Hasker’s murder and was again convicted of Hasker’s murder. Maryann challenged her retrial, claiming she was denied a fair trial for several reasons. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the circuit court erred in ruling that defense counsel opened the door to evidence concerning Maryann’s convictions in California, but the error was harmless; (2) the circuit court did not abuse its discretion in denying Maryann’s motion for mistrial; (3) the prosecution did not engage in misconduct; (4) the circuit court did not err in refusing to enforce a subpoena recalling William to testify in Maryann’s case; and (5) the circuit court’s jury instructions on murder and accomplice liability were not erroneous.