Thursday, June 3, 1999

Girl, 17, faces 8 years
in jail for feud killing

By Lori Tighe


She's 17 and should be thinking about the prom, college and her future.

But instead Lovisa Rauch faces a possible eight years in prison for killing a 62-year-old woman in a neighborhood feud.

Amid her own tears and her crying family, Rauch of Waialua pleaded no contest to reckless manslaughter yesterday for shooting her neighbor, Julia Alameida. Circuit Judge Wendell Huddy will sentence her in September.

"A woman died as a result of what she did. She's taking responsibility," said Rauch's attorney, Dana Ishibashi. "In our view it was an accident."

The victim's son, Clayton Alameida, drunk and out of control, according to both the state and defense attorneys, had attacked Rauch's mother and father, and kicked Rauch in an argument the night of Aug. 13, 1998.

An exchange of words between Alameida and Rauch's father, Perry, escalated into a melee involving a bat, a plastic pipe and a piece of rebar, with both sides swinging.

Tension between the Rauches and the neighbors had been brewing since they moved into the working-class Waialua neighborhood last year and built a house bigger than most in the area, according to Jennifer Ching, deputy prosecutor.

As the argument reeled out of control, Lovisa Rauch ran in the house and grabbed a .22-caliber rifle, went out and pointed it at Alameida. His mother, standing behind him, tried to break up the fight.

"Lovisa was scared. She didn't want to shoot him. He kept saying 'shoot!' It was dark. Through Murphy's Law the shot hit the woman in the head and she died," Ishibashi said.

The Rauches called 911 at least once. But the police arrived after the elder Alameida was shot. She was pronounced dead at Queen's Hospital.

Tensions between the families have remained high since then.

The victim's husband, John Alameida, reached yesterday at home, repeatedly declined comment.

Clayton Alameida, 30, pleaded guilty to second-degree assault for attacking Rauch's mother, Lovelyn Kekino, and breaking her elbow after his mother was shot.

The Rauches built a house bigger than most homes on Kaamooloa Road when they moved into the Waialua neighborhood. The house was more than 3,000 square feet on an acre of land. Perry Rauch had done well as a commercial fisherman, Ishibashi said.

"People felt the neighborhood changed after the Rauches moved in," Ching said. "They had a boat, they had parties, lots of friends over. They zoomed around. Jealousy over their big house was one of many things."

The Rauches put up a fence in what had been a street without fences. Some neighbors felt the Rauches wanted to "keep the people out," Ching said.

Rauch had no prior criminal record, according to her previous attorney. Friends and family testified she was a friendly and helpful teen. But Waialua High School teachers called her rebellious and said she frequently got in trouble, according to Ching.

Rauch remains under house arrest until sentencing.

Ching hasn't decided what to ask the court for her sentence. "If you bring out a gun and you're going to point it, you have to know someone could get hurt," she said.

The Rauches sold their house at a loss, Ishibashi said, and plan to move elsewhere on Oahu.

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