Suspect in robbery plot indicted
An Oahu grand jury indicted a woman yesterday on charges of being an accomplice to first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary and kidnapping in connection with the execution-style murder of a man on Kaneohe Bay Drive last May.
Melissa Ordonez, 22, also known as Rihanna Joy Valentino, was arrested Thursday. Circuit Judge Derrick Chan yesterday agreed to increase her bail to $2 million.
"It is our belief that she is sort of at the crux of this whole situation," said Deputy Prosecutor Rom Trader. "She appears to largely have been responsible for orchestrating the events that ultimately lead to these offenses as well as the shooting."
Ordonez also is on federal probation for her participation in a drug ring that distributed methamphetamine on West Maui and Lanai. She pleaded guilty to methamphetamine possession and was sentenced in April 2006 to three years probation.
The grand jury also charged Reginald Pettway yesterday with first-degree burglary and being an accomplice to first-degree robbery and kidnapping. Chan issued a $2 million bench warrant for his arrest.
Honolulu police and prosecutors said Ordonez arranged for Pettway and two other men, Jerrico Lindsey and William Lee Freeman, to steal money and drugs from Benjamin Grajeda's Puuohalai Place home last May 14. When Grajeda returned unexpectedly, the three men allegedly beat him up and stuffed him into the trunk of their car.
When Grajeda, 27, escaped from the trunk on Kaneohe Bay Drive, he was gunned down as shocked motorists looked on.
Burning was accidental, man says
A man on trial for attempted murder for allegedly setting his girlfriend on fire says it was an accident.
Kim Massey is on trial in Circuit Court for first-degree arson and for attempting to murder Marie Siarot in his Honokai Hale home Oct. 5, 2006. He took the witness stand in his own defense yesterday.
Massey said he was carrying a can of a mixture of lamp oil and gasoline when he stepped on something and tripped over other items on the floor.
"The gasoline in the can sloshed forward as I was trying to catch myself and I fell, dropped the can and I was on the floor," Massey said.
When he looked up he said he was shocked to see Siarot light a cigarette.
"All of a sudden I heard Marie screaming, 'I'm on fire, I'm on fire,'" Massey said.
Siarot had earlier testified that she felt a cold liquid being poured down her back and she erupted into flames after Massey grabbed her hand, which was holding a lighter, and the lighter went off.
Former mayor files for divorce
Former Honolulu Mayor Jeremy Harris filed for divorce Monday from his wife of 18 years, Ramona Sachiko Harris, who played an active and visible role in his campaigning.
Harris' attorney, Charles Kleintop, declined to give details of the divorce other than that the two have already reached a friendly agreement.
"Their divorce is going to be an amicable divorce," Kleintop said yesterday. "They would like to have their privacy respected."
Court papers filed Monday said the marriage is "irretrievably broken."
Harris, 57, was elected mayor in a special election in 1994 after then-Mayor Frank Fasi resigned to run for governor. Harris served as mayor until 2004, when term limits barred him for running again.
His wife, Ramona, was seen as one of his biggest supporters during his political campaigns and helped with his re-election campaign in 2000.
They were married on June 17, 1989, on Kauai and lived together in Kalihi Valley.
The couple did not have children. This was Jeremy Harris' first marriage and Ramona's second.
Since leaving the public spotlight in 2004, Harris frequently travels to give speeches, while Ramona went on to do volunteer work, according to Kleintop. Most of the former mayor's speeches focus on his time as Honolulu's mayor as well as his expertise as a marine biologist.
Police, Fire, Courts
Chemical leaks from police fridge
There were no injuries after a reported Freon leak at the Honolulu Police Department's headquarters on Beretania Street.
At about 11:20 a.m. yesterday, a small refrigerator at the police department's criminal investigation section was discovered to be leaking Freon. The Honolulu Fire Department's hazardous materials team and emergency rescue officials responded to assess the situation. No evacuations or closure of the building were required.
Man fleeing from stolen car nabbed
Police arrested a 30-year-old man Monday who fled from a stolen vehicle used in a recent burglary.
A crime reduction unit spotted a vehicle that possibly was used in a burglary Monday afternoon in Nanakuli.
The unit approached the vehicle, and the driver allegedly drove away recklessly, police said.
The man got out of the vehicle and fled on foot. Officers caught the man after a short foot chase, police said.
Missing woman, 78, is found unhurt
A missing 78-year-old Wahiawa woman was found uninjured yesterday morning in the Kipapa Gulch area, police reported.
A CrimeStoppers bulletin had been issued yesterday regarding the disappearance of Guillerma Camba. Camba had been missing since 12:30 p.m. Sunday.