Newswatch



By Star-Bulletin Staff

Tuesday, November 25, 1997

Janto says he invented murder confession

A man who allegedly described how he killed a Wahiawa woman June 9 now says he only recited what police had told him about the crime to avoid a murder charge and life sentence.

Frank Charles Janto yesterday testified that he believed a detective had offered him manslaughter if he confessed to killing Bongak "Jackie" Koja on her routine walk in front of Leilehua High School.

Janto, 34, said one detective threatened that he was "going down for this crime" while another promised to write up the incident as a lesser offense if he confessed.

"I did time (in prison) before," he said in a hearing before Circuit Judge James Aiona Jr. "If this guy could help me get manslaughter, it would be better than life."

Janto wants Aiona to suppress his confession, saying police violated his right to counsel and his right to avoid self-incrimination.

Aiona said he would review the material, including three tapes, before ruling.

UH students oppose more hikes in tuition

Leilani Silva's mother taught her to be thrifty and find the best deals and the highest quality possible.

Silva, a University of Hawaii international relations major, wonders how increasing UH tuition again applies to that lesson. She doesn't see any tangible results from recent increases, such as better libraries, more resources or even an improved football team.

"I want to invest in something that will make a difference, and will show," she said.

University of Hawaii administrators yesterday took their statewide tuition hearings to the Manoa campus, where a handful of students challenged them to search for alternative sources of revenue instead of raising tuition.

Students also want UH to place a moratorium on further increases until they can recover from the 72 percent jump in tuition during the past two years.

Grandmother says she asked state officials to take infant

A woman who sued the state for negligence in the 1990 death of her 6-month-old grandson says she wanted state workers to take the infant from his mother and father.

Annie Borden testified yesterday that she had five contacts with the state and asked workers to remove Glenn Tucker Jr. from her daughter, Elena, and her husband, Glenn Sr., said Stacy Moniz, Borden's attorney.

The infant died March 6 about three months after workers got a Family Court order, placing the child under state supervision.

But Charles Fell, the state's attorney, said in his opening statement in the nonjury trial that the state was not at fault in the infant's death.

He said the state did everything it could, including getting the state order and complying with it.

Fell said the state workers saw nothing to suggest that the parents would physically abuse their two babies or fail to take them for urgent care if necessary.

Officials to survey weather buoy damage

Officials are planning a fact-finding trip next week to survey damage to a weather buoy northwest of Kauai.

But the National Data Buoy Center said photographs indicate repairs can't be done at sea, and another buoy probably will not be operating at the site until January.

A definite course of action will not be made until after the survey, however, when buoy center personnel will assess the extent of damage to cables, connections and other equipment.

"It doesn't look like a vessel ran into it because of the lack of damage or markings on the hull," said Coast Guard Lt. James Elliot.

"It appears that someone boarded the buoy and removed some of the equipment."

The buoy -- which provides vital sea, air and wind information to forecasters -- was put at its site 222 miles from Lihue on Nov. 16 to replace another one that was stripped by thieves.

National Weather Service personnel began receiving data the next day, but transmissions stopped after 1 a.m. Nov. 19, according to officials.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into the matter, and said it would open a case based on reports the equipment was stolen.

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Police/Fire


By Star-Bulletin staff

Ambulance walkie-talkie stolen

Police arrested a Waimanalo woman this morning for allegedly stealing a paramedic's radio from an ambulance while being driven to Castle hospital.

The woman, 33, was riding in the front-passenger seat with her ill friend in the back of the ambulance at 2:15 a.m., police said.

While the two paramedics took the patient to the emergency room, the woman allegedly stole the walkie-talkie valued at $1,250.

When the suspect entered the emergency room, the paramedics heard the missing radio in her purse.

Police were called and arrested the woman.

Woman finds dog's head on car

KEAUHOU, Hawaii -- Big Island police say a woman discovered the head of a dog left on the hood of her car, after a fight involving her boyfriend and three other men at her residence.

Magilla T. Sumida, 23, faces several charges, including terroristic threatening, criminal property damage, third-degree assault, and cruelty to animals.

Police said Sumida, who was charged yesterday, and his two friends went to the home early Saturday morning and called the boyfriend out and fought with him. Later, Sumida or his friends broke down the front door, then left the residence, police said.

The woman, 29, discovered the assailants had left the head of the dog on her car hood, police said.

Sumida was being held this morning in lieu of $7,500.

Hilo road under construction

HILO -- Big Island police warn motorists to exercise caution when driving on a three-mile stretch of road on Hilo-bound lanes of Route 11 between Macadamia Road and Panaewa Bridge in Hilo. This section of road is being repaired between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., and motorists should expect 20 to 30 minutes of delay, police said. The project should take six days to complete.

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