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Murder sentencing delayed


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POSTED: Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Honolulu deputy prosecutor said he believes a defense witness claiming he saw a May 2007 murder on the North Shore is fabricating his story.

“;I don't believe he was there,”; said Deputy Prosecutor Wayne Tashima, adding that the man's testimony “;contradicts everything.”;

At a Circuit Court sentencing hearing yesterday, Dustin Jimenez's lawyer, Chester Kanai, presented a new witness to support his client's claim of self-defense, which delayed his sentencing. Jimenez was convicted last August of second-degree murder for shooting Dillon Ching.

At the hearing, Tony Bumphus Jr., 28, of Wahiawa said he was standing within arm's reach of Jimenez when Jimenez gunned down Ching during a street brawl.

Bumphus said he was drinking with Jimenez at a beach party and they had gone on a beer run together minutes before Jimenez shot Ching, a father of two.

But Bumphus contradicted Jimenez, who testified that he never saw Bumphus the night of the shooting.

“;Somebody that big, you're going to remember them,”; Tashima said of the 6-foot-5-inch Bumphus.

Bumphus initially didn't speak up because he didn't want to get involved, he said.

The testimony came yesterday in the courtroom of Circuit Judge Richard Perkins, where Jimenez, 23, appeared for sentenceing in his second-degree murder conviction.

Perkins will decide today whether to admit Bumphus' testimony.