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Judge finds man guilty of murder


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POSTED: Saturday, May 16, 2009

A state judge deliberated just 15 minutes yesterday before finding RJ Ham guilty of second-degree murder.

Ham, 25, admitted that he stabbed Fusitogamala Savea in the heart with a kitchen knife in Kalihi on Dec. 26, 2007. But he testified in the trial that he stabbed Savea, 18, in self-defense.

Ham said Savea and a boy punched him and knocked him down after shaking his hand.

The boy, Savea's cousin, who was 14 then, told police Ham stabbed Savea after the two got into an argument over the handshake.

Ham faces a mandatory life prison term with the possibility for parole when he is sentence in July. He also faces serving a mandatory 10 years in prison before he is eligible for parole because ofs a prior felony assault conviction.