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Monday, August 30, 1999



Art

Sex offender’s confession
reported in Waikiki slaying

The murders suspect is being
held in prison on $100,000 bail

By Rod Ohira
Star-Bulletin

Tapa

A 34-year-old convicted sex offender admitted to killing a Waikiki video store clerk during an Aug. 20 robbery, a police report says.

An affidavit filed by Officer Robert Steiner in District Court also notes that police identified Samuel Cooper Jr. from fingerprints found on a broken cash box and a shrink-wrap roll found at Waikiki Video Sales & Rentals on Kuhio Avenue.

Dr. Bani Win of the Medical Examiner's Office determined that Keith Miyashiro, 49, died from a blunt trauma to the head, the report says.

Win says a roll of shrink-wrap found in the storage room next to Miyashiro's body could have caused the injury.

Shrink-wrap is a tough, transparent plastic material which is shrunk by heating to form a sealed, tight-fitting package.

The roll in the video store was large and heavy, police said.

Steiner's report also says that Cooper's fingerprints were found on a pried-open cash box that was discovered on the floor of the video store's restroom.

Sidney Somes, the video store's owner, told police the cash box is usually kept behind the front counter.

The report says that Cooper waived his rights last Friday and gave a taped statement to homicide Detective Allan Castro, admitting he struck Miyashiro once with the heavy shrink-wrap roll and took money from the cash box.

Cooper was arraigned today in District Court for murder.

He is being held at Halawa prison in lieu of $100,000 bail on the murder charge.

Police are also looking at Cooper as a suspect in the May 17 murder of 81-year-old Fred Cramer, a longtime Honolulu Symphony volunteer who was found bound and gagged in his Cleghorn Street apartment in Waikiki.

Max Otani, acting administrator of the Hawaii Paroling Authority, said Cooper was paroled on March 30 after serving four years of a 10-year sentence for unrelated convictions of second-degree sex assault and first-degree assault.

Cooper was already in custody when he was questioned and charged with Miyashiro's murder.

He was arrested without incident Tuesday in a downtown apartment building by Sheriff's deputies on a warrant charging him with parole violations.



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