Errors plagued Kaneohe deadly robbery
Police say a woman guided two suspects to the victim's home
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Like a half-baked heist in some Elmore Leonard crime novel, almost everything went wrong for the suspects the night Benjamin Grajeda was gunned down on Kaneohe Bay Drive.
The victim came home too early. He escaped from the trunk of the culprit's car and ran down the road. And the woman who set him up could not find the keys to her own getaway vehicle, forcing her to call a cab, according to police.
Melissa Ordonez, also known as Rihanna Joy Valentino, is due to appear in court this morning on charges of first-degree robbery and kidnapping in the May 2007 case.
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Honolulu police have charged a woman with first-degree robbery and kidnapping in a case involving the killing of a man who was beaten at his Kaneohe home and shot multiple times on a busy street in May.
Police say Melissa Ordonez, who changed her name to Rihanna Joy Valentino, had told two men now charged with the murder of Benjamin Grajeda, 27, of North Hollywood, Calif., that he had a large amount of money and drugs in his apartment, according to a police affidavit released yesterday.
On May 14, residents living on Puuohalai Place in Kaneohe remembered seeing a woman leaving the quiet street after hearing a scuffle at Grajeda's first-floor apartment. Police had questioned Ordonez after the killing and arrested her nearly a year later.
The weekend before the killing, according to the affidavit, Ordonez met with Jerrico Lindsey and William Freeman, the two men charged with Grajeda's murder, and showed them where Grajeda conducted his drug business and the car where he supposedly stashed a gun, drugs and money.
On the night of the slaying, after Grajeda and Ordonez had dinner together, she gave directions to Grajeda's home to Lindsey while Grajeda was taking a shower, police said.
She told Lindsey that she would send Grajeda to the store and to meet her at his home while he was away. Lindsey was with Freeman and another man when they saw Grajeda drive away in his burgundy-colored sport utility vehicle. They went into his apartment and started searching for money and drugs, the affidavit said.
When Grajeda came home, he confronted Lindsey in the living room, and the two started fighting. The other two men jumped in and continued beating Grajeda until he was unconscious.
When Grajeda yelled for help, Ordonez stood by the sliding glass door to keep watch and kept saying, "Hurry up, make him be quiet, people might hear."
Freeman taped Grajeda's mouth. The men put him into the trunk of their white car while Ordonez stayed behind. Lindsey called Ordonez and told her he was worried Grajeda would go after her for setting him up.
Grajeda was able to break free from the trunk and attempted to run away on Kaneohe Bay Drive near Moakaka Place around 10 p.m. Police said Lindsey shot Grajeda executioner style several times in the head and torso while several witnesses watched from their homes and cars.
Ordonez was supposed to drive away in Grajeda's sport-utility vehicle but did not have the keys. She caught a cab to Burger King, gave the driver a large amount of money and told him to forget that he saw her, the affidavit said.
She then called another friend for a ride, who drove her to her apartment in Honolulu. She called the police about four hours later.
At first she told police that armed masked men had kidnapped Grajeda. She changed her statement later and told police that Lindsey, Freeman and another acquaintance had beaten up Grajeda.