Tuesday, November 16, 1999

Xerox massacre

Judge orders
Uyesugi held
without bail

The accused murderer is deemed
a flight risk and a danger
to the community

Cayetano would consider revising gun laws

By Debra Barayuga


Circuit Judge Richard Perkins has revoked bail for accused gunman Byran Uyesugi and ordered him held without bail, saying the former Xerox copier repairman presents a flight risk and a danger to the community.

Uyesugi, indicted in the Nov. 2 murders of his supervisor and six co-workers and the attempted murder of another, was being held in protective custody and isolated from the general population at the Oahu Community Correctional Center in lieu of $7 million bail.

Based on state law, bail can be denied when someone has been charged with a "serious crime" -- defined by statute as including first-degree murder or attempted murder -- crimes with which Uyesugi has been charged, Deputy Prosecutor Kevin Takata argued yesterday.

By Dennis Oda, Star-Bulletin
Byran Uyesugi pleaded not guilty from prison
via closed circuit television yesterday.

A defendant charged with a serious crime punishable by life imprisonment with no possibility of parole is also presumed to be a flight risk. Also, given the charges and allegations against Uyesugi contained in court documents and confidential grand jury transcripts, there is nothing the courts can do to prevent harm to the rest of the community if he is released, Takata said.

Rodney Ching, one of Uyesugi's lawyers, argued against bail revocation, saying Uyesugi has no criminal felony record, has ties to the community and was gainfully employed, and could still very well be. (The Xerox Corp. terminated Uyesugi's employment following his arraignment last week, a company official said.)

"Given the circumstances, $7 million is already the same as no bail," Ching argued.

The $7 million -- earlier reviewed and approved by the court -- is sufficient to ensure Uyesugi's appearance in court, Ching said.

Since the defense failed to rebut the state's contention that a serious flight risk exists and cannot ensure that Uyesugi will appear, Perkins granted the state's motion.

Uyesugi's lawyer Jerel Fonseca earlier pleaded not guilty to all charges on behalf of his client, who appeared via closed-circuit video from prison while three corrections officers waited nearby.

Uyesugi said little during questioning by Perkins, acknowledging that he understood the proceedings and was giving up his right not to be present at the hearing. His lawyers said Uyesugi remains as quiet and reserved as the day he was arrested.

Perkins set Uyesugi's trial for the week of Jan. 18, 2000, but defense lawyers indicated they will seek a later date.

Cayetano would consider
revising gun laws

Associated Press


Gov. Ben Cayetano, who owns several guns, said he's open to "meaningful changes" to Hawaii's already strict gun laws and wouldn't block a ban on the private ownership of handguns, if that's what the people want.

If the people want to ban handguns, "it's not something I'll sit down in front of a bulldozer for. It's something I can take or leave," he said.

There has been growing support statewide for tougher gun laws and even a ban on handgun ownership in the wake of the fatal shootings of seven Xerox Corp. workers in Honolulu early this month.

"Unless you ban firearms completely, it's very difficult to avoid a situation such as the Xerox shootings," Cayetano said. "The law cannot protect the citizens from every contingency."

While the governor opposes periodic re-registration of handguns, Cayetano said a proposed requirement to show the firearm's registration in order to purchase ammunition for the gun "sounds like a good idea."

As for the Xerox shootings, Cayetano said instead of more gun controls it may be more productive to concentrate on programs to identify potential problems in the workplace and resolve them through counseling and reducing stress levels.

The governor said he became interested in guns years ago when he was a reserve deputy sheriff and has several which he keeps locked up in a safe.

Xerox killings

E-mail to City Desk

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
[Stylebook] [Feedback]

© 1999 Honolulu Star-Bulletin