Witness details hours before friend's slaying


POSTED: Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A prosecution witness testified that hours before 24-year-old Jermaine Duckworth was found dead at the bottom of a cliff with a gunshot wound to the back of his head, he was in a home in Waipahu, bound with duct tape and being questioned about whether he had talked with police.

Jeffrey Gusman testified in court yesterday that during a moment when Duckworth's captors left him in a room, Duckworth asked him to call police. He said Duckworth looked scared, but he did not honor his friend's request.

“;I had no knowledge of what was going to happen next. But honestly, from what I thought, that they were going to take him, give him dirty lickins and let him go,”; Gusman said.

Gusman testified in Circuit Court in the murder trial of 31-year-old Patrick Deguair Jr. The state says Deguair killed Duckworth on March 27 last year because Duckworth fingered him to police as a participant in a home-invasion robbery in Maili. Duckworth was also a suspect in the robbery.

Gusman testified only after the state granted him immunity from prosecution yesterday for any activity he was going to talk about. He said he smoked methamphetamine at the Waipahu home.

He said Deguair brought him and Duckworth to the home and then left with Duckworth, still bound, and another man, David Teo. He said he never saw Deguair or Duckworth again.

Gusman said when he saw Teo later, he did not ask him what happened to Duckworth because he did not want to know.

He repeated yesterday what he had already told police, that it was Deguair who bound Duckworth with duct tape and it was Deguair who questioned Duckworth about talking to police.

However, he added yesterday that it was Teo who directed the events inside the home.

Teo, 46, is scheduled to testify later this week as the state's key witness against Deguair.

Deguair's lawyer said it is Teo who killed Duckworth.

Gusman also said yesterday that when police interviewed him in April last year, he felt as though they already knew what he was going to say. And after the interview, he said police told him, “;Dave will be happy with what you had to say.”;