Defense wins round in battle over accused killer’s records
Attorneys for David Wayne Kuroki — who is accused of first-degree murder in the death of his 81-year-old mother — insist the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office had no right to see medical records created by paramedics while transporting their client to a hospital.
Although investigators and prosecutors can’t unlearn what they’ve seen, Arapahoe County Judge Elizabeth Beebe-Volz ordered that the files be handed over to the court and sealed until further notice, and that any residual knowledge not be used in the prosecution of the case.
Beebe-Volz rendered her decision at the conclusion of an Aug. 21 hearing in Arapahoe County Court.
Kuroki, 53, was found April 2 in a Douglas County park, just hours after Arapahoe County sheriff’s deputies discovered his mother’s body in the bedroom of her Centennial home.
According to sworn testimony, a South Metro Fire ambulance transported Kuroki from the park with what the Douglas County deputy who responded to the scene described as life-threatening wounds.
But Kuroki’s defense team is resolved that notes and medical reports created by those who treated him are protected under the Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and should never have been turned over to investigators.
Assistant Arapahoe County Attorney George Rosenberg disagrees.
Appearing on behalf of Sheriff Grayson Robinson, Rosenberg argued no violation could have occurred because the sheriff’s office only had copies, and was not the custodial agent of the documents, with no way of certifying the records as “true and accurate.”
He went on to cite case law exempting law enforcement agencies from such breaches of privacy.
Defense attorneys argued a violation did exist because Kuroki has not waived his right to keep such records private, adding that the records should be surrendered and destroyed.
Prosecutors objected, insisting that in the event Kuroki would plead not guilty by reason of insanity, the records may be of value.
Kuroki will be back in court Oct. 25 for arraignment.