Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Remembrances and messages relating to slain youngster Kahealani Indreginal cover a fence at the intersection of Salt Lake Boulevard and Kamehameha Highway.

Mother of murder
defendant gets TRO

Patricia Aki alleges
the victim's mother has
been threatening her

The mother of murder suspect Christopher Aki has been granted a temporary court order barring the victim's family from contacting her.

Patricia Aki filed for the temporary restraining order Monday against the family of 11-year-old Kahealani Indreginal. Aki said she fears harm might come to her in retaliation for the girl's death.

Christopher Aki faces trial March 30 for second-degree murder for the December 2002 slaying of Indreginal.

In papers filed with District Court, Patricia Aki said she received a call Saturday from Tanya Mamala-Tumbaga, her son's former girlfriend and the mother of her two grandchildren. Mamala-Tumbaga is also the sister of Indreginal.

According to Aki, Kahealani Indreginal's mother, Lehua Tumbaga, came on the line and allegedly began screaming at Aki about media reports that Christopher Aki's defense would implicate Tumbaga's brother, Dennis Cacatian, as the killer.

During the call, Tumbaga allegedly told Aki to "watch your step."

In court documents, Aki wrote: "I also fear harm might come to me or my property in revenge of her daughter's death."

Tumbaga could not be reached for comment.

But Vincent Indreginal, Kahealani's father, said yesterday that Patricia Aki has no reason to fear his family and that she has been calling and threatening his daughter Tanya.

"We don't want anything to do with her. She's the one who bothers us," he said.

Indreginal said he welcomes the court order requiring no contact with Aki.

"It's best that she keep her distance until everything's settled," he said.

District Judge Hilary Gangnes granted the temporary restraining order for 15 days and set an April 6 hearing.

Indreginal said Patricia Aki wants to see her two grandchildren, but they have told her to wait until the trial is over.

Aki said she is concerned about her grandchildren, and continually prays for peace and comfort for the Indreginal and Tumbaga families.

Aki said it hurt her family as well when the girl was killed.

"She's like a member of the family. She was auntie to my grandchildren, and it was like we lost two people -- Chris and her."

Indreginal said Christopher Aki is "just making up stories" to save himself by blaming Cacatian, and that their family believes Christopher Aki is responsible for Kahealani's death. The sole purpose of Aki's allegations is to "raise confusion with everybody and the jury," he said.

Indreginal said the family was upset to learn over the weekend that Aki is blaming Cacatian for the crime.

Cacatian could not be reached for comment.

Police searched Cacatian's Aiea home in February 2003 after learning he was a convicted rapist. They had been looking at various sex offenders as part of their investigation into Indreginal's slaying.

He was charged in federal court with possession of a high-capacity ammunition after police found illegal rifle magazines in an underground room. Cacatian pleaded guilty and is free on bail awaiting sentencing March 29.


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