Not-guilty plea likely in Kaneohe gun slaying
A man charged in a fatal shooting in Kaneohe on Monday night will plead not guilty to a murder count when he is arraigned, his attorney said yesterday.
Jerrico Dewon Lindsey, 26, is alleged to have gunned down the male victim on Kaneohe Bay Drive near Moakaka Place in a brazen shooting witnessed by residents.
The Medical Examiner's Office identified the victim yesterday as 27-year-old Benjamin Grajeda of North Hollywood, Calif. Grajeda had told his landlord that his name was Fernando Correa when he moved into the downstairs apartment of a home on Puuohalai Place.
At about 1 p.m. yesterday, a neighbor noticed two women going into Grajeda's apartment and called police. The neighbor said one of the women identified herself as Grajeda's wife. Patrol officers ushered the women out of the house and brought them to the main police station.
One of the women claimed to be married to Grajeda, but when pressed she told detectives she was the mother of their child, said homicide Lt. Bill Kato. "We couldn't confirm her ID," he said.
Kato said police can turn over personal effects to someone who is a designated beneficiary.
Grajeda had numerous tattoos, which appeared to be homemade, Kato said.
Police charged Lindsey yesterday with second-degree murder, four firearms violations and first-degree terroristic threatening. They also charged William Lee Freeman, 35, on Wednesday night with first-degree kidnapping and hindering prosecution.
Both made an initial appearance yesterday in Honolulu District Court, and are expected to return Monday for a preliminary hearing.
Attorney William Harrison, who represents Lindsey, said they expect to request a reduction in the $3 million bail, which he called excessive. The public defender for Freeman declined to comment.
Police affidavits filed in court reveal little about a motive for the shooting. However, police say Lindsey is the ex-boyfriend of a woman who was at the victim's Kaneohe home when he was allegedly kidnapped just before 10 p.m. by three men and thrown into the trunk of a white Ford Crown Victoria.
The victim managed to escape from the trunk on Kaneohe Bay Drive but was gunned down as he tried to flee, police said. The white car was last seen in Kaaawa, headed toward the North Shore.
Police said officers spotted a white Crown Victoria speeding at about 11 p.m. near Sunset Elementary and tried to follow it. Another officer pulled the car over, but it sped off as the officer approached on foot. The car was found abandoned a short time later near Jameson's by the Sea restaurant just outside Haleiwa town.
Freeman was found hiding behind Jameson's, police said, and Lindsey was arrested the next day about two miles away from Haleiwa. They are still looking for the third male.
Harrison could not say if his client knew the victim, and has yet to discuss the facts of the case with him.
Star-Bulletin reporters Gene Park, Laurie Au and Leila Fujimori contributed to this report.