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Man shot dead was trying to turn life around


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POSTED: Sunday, August 02, 2009

Shawn Powell, formerly known as Shawn Avilla, had a lengthy criminal history, but a friend said he was trying to clean up his life, a life cut short Friday morning in a Keeamoku St. parking lot.

Powell, 35, of Ewa Beach, was shot to death at 4:19 a.m. in front of the Seoul Karaoke nightclub.

Police arrested a 33-year-old Waianae man for attempted murder Friday night at the Honolulu International Airport, where he was trying to catch a plane to the mainland, police Maj. Clayton Kau said.

The suspect in Powell's death, Phillip Dejeus Deleon, was identified by witnesses as the shooter, Kau said.

“;He (Powell) was trying to straighten his life and get everything together. He was trying to stay out of trouble,”; said Kalola Hallums, also known as Big Teeze in the local entertainment industry. “;He used to go out a lot, but I haven't seen him in a while and it was kind of surprising to see that he was out late.”;

Police said Powell, 35, argued with Deleon at a bar near the former Venus nightclub prior to the shooting in the Keeaumoku Plaza parking lot.

An autopsy showed Powell, 35, died from a bullet that punctured his heart.

In 2001, Powell was one of 11 people arrested in connection with a crystal methamphetamine drug ring on Oahu and Maui. During the FBI raid, agents seized weapons, $225,000 worth of ice, $5,000 worth of marijuana, cocaine, several vehicles and $40,000 cash.

Powell's criminal record also included assault, property damage, attempted theft, and several restraining orders filed against him in 1998 and 2007.

Hallums said that Powell, a father of four, got out of jail two years ago and “;despite all the bad stuff, he's a good brother.”;

“;To anybody who knew him, he's a good friend. He was a loyal friend. Do anything for the boys,”; Hallums said.