Friday, November 2, 2001

Trial begins in
Nanakuli shooting

Tyrone Galdones is accused of
killing James Zoucha in 1999

By Debra Barayuga

Tyrone Galdones and Tammy Aiwohi had been together -- off and mostly on -- for 13 years and had two children, ages 5 and 10. Galdones considered her his common-law wife, his attorney Helen Wong said.

When he moved out in the summer of 1999, he expected they would reconcile, deputy public defender Wong said. So it came as a shock to him when on Aug. 19, 1999, he drove over to her Nanakuli house after a night of drinking in hopes of seeing his kids only to be told to "just leave," she said.

Seeing another man lying asleep next to her in her bed and her telling him it was "none of his business" was the clincher, Wong said. Galdones retrieved a borrowed 9mm gun from his car and fired two shots through a bedroom window in the back of the stranger's head, she said.

Wong gave her opening statement in the trial of Galdones, 31, known as "Jiggy," for second-degree murder in the death of James Zoucha, 27. If convicted, he faces life with the possibility of parole.

Deputy Prosecutor Franklin Pacarro Jr. called Zoucha's slaying an "execution."

As Galdones reversed out of the driveway, he told a friend in the car with him, "I shot 'em, I shot 'em, I shot the guy," Pacarro said.

Wong asked jurors to find Galdones guilty, but of the lesser charge of reckless manslaughter, based on extreme mental and emotional disturbance. Manslaughter is punishable by 20 years imprisonment.

"He had not expected this," Wong said of Galdones seeing Aiwohi in bed with another man. "Tyrone Galdones was not in the right mind when he returned to the window."

About a week to two weeks earlier, Aiwohi had assured him she was not seeing anyone.

After firing the shots, Galdones fled to his car and drove away. He dropped off a friend who was in the car with him, then returned the gun to the friend he had borrowed it from earlier.

He then went to see his father and confessed: "I shot 'em. I popped the guy."

A handgun that was recovered during a series of drug raids in Waianae in April this year matched one of the bullets that had struck Zoucha in the head.

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