Man accused of killing friend for 'squealing' heads to trial


POSTED: Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Trial is scheduled to begin in Circuit Court today for a man accused of killing his friend execution style because the friend “;squealed”; on him to police.

Patrick Deguair Jr., 31, is accused of second-degree murder for the March 27, 2008, shooting death of Jermaine Duckworth. The 24-year-old Duckworth was shot in the back of the head.

The state says Deguair killed Duckworth because Duckworth fingered him as a participant in a home-invasion robbery in Maili. Duckworth was also a suspect in the robbery.

In separate interviews with two different Honolulu police detectives—one a day after the Nov. 27, 2007, robbery and the second one two weeks later—Duckworth said Deguair was one of four robbers who forced their way into a home on Kulaaupuni Street wearing masks and disguised as Drug Enforcement Administration agents.

Circuit Judge Michael Town says the state can use the interviews as evidence in the trial.

In the second interview, on Dec. 12, 2007, Duckworth told police Deguair broke his jaw and threatened to kill him for talking to police, according to the transcript of the interview.

Three months later, tourists found Duckworth's body on some rocks below a cliff at Yokohama Bay beach.

Police said they recovered the firearm they believe was used to kill Duckworth. They said they found blood on the gun with DNA that matches Duckworth's.

Witnesses told police Deguair took Duckworth to a home in Waipahu the night before, bound him with duct tape and urged him to admit to informing on him. The witnesses said Deguair, Duckworth and two other men left the home in a sport utility vehicle.

One of the men is scheduled to testify as a prosecution witness against Deguair. The prosecutor says the other man offered to make a statement as part of a plea deal but has not spoken to authorities since plea negotiations broke down.

State prison officials says the prosecution witness is in protective custody. They said they moved the other man out of pretrial confinement at Oahu Community Correctional Center at the prosecutor's request.

Deguair's defense is that the prosecution witness killed Duckworth.

In court papers he submitted indicating his intent to use an alibi defense, Deguair said he and the other man waited in the SUV on Farrington Highway near Hakimo Road in Nanakuli after the prosecution witness and Duckworth walked off into the darkness. He said the witness returned alone about an hour later.

Deguair plans to call at least one person who says the prosecution witness admitted killing Duckworth.