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Jury indicts suspects in Chinatown shooting


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POSTED: Friday, April 03, 2009

An Oahu grand jury returned an indictment yesterday charging the two suspects in last weekend's Chinatown shooting with second-degree murder.

Circuit Judge Derrick Chan granted the state's request to order Iosefa Meafua Pasene, 21, and Zorro Ramon Rye, 24, held in custody without the opportunity for bail. Their bail had been $1 million each.

Deputy Prosecutor Sean Sanada made the request, saying, “;I believe that both defendants pose a significant threat to the public and the community, as well as to the witnesses involved in this case.”;

Sanada said Pasene and Rye chased and gunned down an unarmed Joseph Maululu Peneueta Saturday. He said Pasene shot Peneueta in the back at close range.

Police said witnesses reported Pasene used an assault rifle in the shooting.

The Honolulu Medical Examiner's Office said Peneueta died from internal bleeding from bullet and shotgun wounds to his back.

Both defendants are from the San Francisco area and pose a risk of flight, Sanada said.

Just three hours before the shooting, police released Pasene from custody after he posted $11,000 bail for two drug possession arrests.

Rye was free on $35,000 bail awaiting sentencing for cocaine possession.