Court order fails to avert stabbing
Neighbors say that a Maili man told his wife, "You going die"
David and Gina Tautua had a history of domestic problems chiefly stemming from his anger in the nearly seven years they have been married, according to court records.
Early Tuesday, David Tautua allegedly sat on her chest, stabbed her in the neck and told her, "I love you but you going die today," Maili neighbors say.
Tautua, 43, made his first appearance in Honolulu District Court yesterday, charged with second-degree attempted murder. He is also accused of violating an Aug. 2 protective order that prohibited him from contacting his wife and their children. The Family Court protective order was valid until July 3, 2010.
Tautua was ordered to return Wednesday for a preliminary hearing.
Prosecutors asked the court to set bail at $50,000. He was convicted of abusing her in September 2005 and has a trial set for Oct. 1 in another abuse case that occurred on April 25.
His wife, Gina Tautua, 38, remains in the Queen's Medical Center in serious condition with wounds to her neck.
Police were called early Tuesday to Gina Tautua's Maili residence for reports of a stabbing. Based on witness descriptions, David Tautua was apprehended by officers a short time later running on Farrington Highway near Hookele Street.
Police wrestled him down after he refused orders to get on the ground. He attempted to grab an officer's firearm, saying, "I like kill myself with your gun," according to an officer's affidavit. He allegedly had blood on his shirt.
Police recovered a knife with the blade broken off and blood on it at the apartment. Another witness told police he saw Tautua stabbing himself in the chest with a knife.
Court files document the couple's troubled history. Gina Tautua filed for divorce on July 2, noting they had been separated since August 2006. She also is seeking custody of the couple's 5-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son.
Previous court filings by Gina Tautua show a pattern of violence by her husband, whom she has stated has threatened to kill her.
In a petition for a temporary restraining order filed July 31, 2006, Gina Tautua noted she is afraid of her husband because he continues to be abusive. "He seems to be on drugs and is very angry and vilonet (sic) he is continually screeming (sic) and yelling at me."
At the time, Tautua was on probation for a September 2005 abuse conviction. She noted that he has not changed after taking the classes ordered by the court.
A restraining order was granted to expire on Oct. 29, 2006.
In August 2006, however, she and her husband went to court to request that the order be dissolved. Gina Tautua claimed she had lied about her husband's abuse because she faced eviction. She said she filed the restraining order at the urging of their rental office agent because of a disturbance complaint filed against the couple.
The prior November, she had filed for a restraining order alleging that he had physically and psychologically abused her. She reported that he had threatened to beat and kill her and her son from a previous relationship.
Tautua alleged in the April case that her husband grabbed her by the neck until she could not breathe and that she obtained the latest restraining order because he threatened that if he ever went to jail, he would buy a gun and kill her so that she would never be able to divorce him. He told her he would "rather have me dead than not have me at all," she wrote in court documents.
City Prosecutor Peter Carlisle said laws stiffening the penalties for certain felonies committed by defendants who violate restraining orders are seriously needed. A proposal doing just that did not make it through the last legislative session.
Proposals discussed include doubling the penalties or instituting a mandatory minimum term and including murder in the list of felonies, he said. "The problem is too severe to allow the status quo to prevail."