Relatives of victims in killings sue the city
The shootings at the Pali Golf Course created undue pain, the families contend
Relatives of the two men killed in the Pali Golf Course shootings two years ago filed a lawsuit yesterday against the city, the golf course and the three alleged shooters.
Seven relatives of Lepo Taliese Utu and Romelius Corpuz Jr. said they have suffered pain and mental distress from the slayings and deserve damages paid to them, according to the suit.
They are also asking for money to pay for medical bills, lost income and property damage as a result of the shootings.
The city runs the Pali Golf Course and should also be held responsible from their negligence in protecting their family members, the document says.
The plaintiffs are Taliese Utu's three children, Selena, Lepo Taliese Jr. and Seumalii; his mother, Fualelea, and sister, Faletolu Lauti; and Corpuz's wife, Maanaima, and daughter, Natasha Utu Corpuz.
Their lawyer, William Fenton Sink, was on Kauai yesterday afternoon and could not be reached for comment. The city declined to comment, but a spokesman said it will hire a lawyer to look into the case.
Meanwhile, 35-year-old Rodney Joseph and 33-year-old Kevin Gonsalves, the alleged gunmen on trial for the men's deaths, have been granted bail for $1 million.
Their trial, originally scheduled for last January, has been postponed indefinitely after the state appealed to the Hawaii Supreme Court's decision to suppress some of Joseph's statements.
On Jan. 7, 2004, Joseph, Gonsalves and Ethan Motta, 34, allegedly shot the two men and also injured Corpuz's brother, Tino Sao, 42.
Police said the shooting was linked to a turf war over the two factions vying to provide security at underground gambling houses.