Man guilty of Kaneohe execution


POSTED: Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A 28-year-old man faces a mandatory life term with the possibility for parole plus up to 86 years in prison when he is sentenced in December for the execution-style murder of a man in the middle of Kaneohe Bay Drive as shocked motorists looked on.

A jury found Jerrico Lindsey guilty yesterday of second-degree murder, kidnapping, robbery, burglary and firearm charges in connection with the May 14, 2007, abduction and killing of 27-year-old Benjamin Grajeda. The jury also found that the burglary, robbery, kidnapping and murder were separate acts and not part of a single incident.

“;The verdict on all the counts allows us to pursue consecutive sentencing,”; said Darrell Wong, deputy prosecutor.

That means life for murder plus 20 years each for the kidnapping, first-degree robbery and using a firearm to commit the crimes; 10 years each for first-degree burglary and carrying a firearm without a permit; five years for possessing a prohibited assault pistol; and a year for possessing a prohibited ammunition magazine.

The state said Lindsey, William Lee Freeman Jr. and Reginald Pettway went to Grajeda's Kaneohe apartment to steal his drugs and money after Grajeda's girlfriend, Melissa Ordonez, who was at the apartment, sent Grajeda on an errand.

When Grajeda returned home early, the three men beat him, bound his legs and mouth with duct tape and put him in the trunk of their car. As they were traveling on Kaneohe Bay Drive, Freeman said he activated the trunk release, and Grajeda escaped.

Freeman and Pettway testified that Lindsey chased after Grajeda and shot him. One motorist identified Lindsey as the man she saw shoot Grajeda in the back when Grajeda was on the ground.

Two Oahu Community Correctional Center inmates testified Lindsey told them he was the one who shot Grajeda.

Wong said no one knows what would have happened if Grajeda had not escaped. But, he said, had the three men been successful in stealing Grajeda's drugs and money before he returned, the other crimes probably would not have happened.

Lindsey, Ordonez and Pettway have pleaded guilty for their roles in the burglary, robbery and kidnapping and are awaiting sentencing.

All three face maximum 10-year prison terms, according to the terms of their plea agreements.