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Witness recounts grim execution-style slaying


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POSTED: Thursday, October 29, 2009

A witness in state protective custody said he watched murder defendant Patrick W. Deguair Jr. shoot another man in the back of the head and then push him off a cliff.

Deguair, 31, is on trial in state court for second-degree murder and other charges for the March 27, 2008, shooting death of Jermaine Duckworth. Tourists found Duckworth's body on some rocks at the bottom of a cliff near Yokohama Bay beach.

Prosecutors say Deguair killed the 24-year-old Duckworth for squealing on him to police about a home-invasion robbery. Duckworth was also a suspect in the robbery.

David Teo, 46, said he sat in the back seat of a sport utility vehicle as Deguair removed Duckworth from the back of the vehicle. He said Deguair had earlier used duct tape to cover Duckworth's mouth and bind Duckworth's hands behind his back in a home in Waipahu.

Teo said another man was also sitting in the SUV.

Outside the SUV, Teo said Deguair patted down Duckworth, checking for items in his pockets. And he said he heard Deguair say to Duckworth, “;What, you still not going tell me?”;

An earlier witness testified Duckworth denied talking to police under questioning by Deguair.

Teo said Deguair then walked Duckworth to the edge of the cliff and appeared to say something to him. In the SUV he said the third man who accompanied them commented, “;Come on, pingy him already.”;

Pingy is Samoan slang for bang or hit, Teo said.

He said Deguair fired a gun at the back of Duckworth's head and then pushed Duckworth off the cliff, momentarily losing his own balance near the edge.

When he asked Deguair why he killed Duckworth, he said Deguair told him Duckworth stole from him and did other things.

Teo said Deguair gave him the gun used to kill Duckworth and told him to get rid of it.

Teo has a cooperative agreement with the state under which he has already pleaded guilty to violating probation, participating in a robbery with Deguair and the other man a week after Duckworth's murder and for unlawful firearm possession in connection with Duckworth's murder. Teo has prior felony convictions for auto theft and escape.

In return, the state promises to ask for no more than 20 years in prison at sentencing and to ask for his placement in a witness protection program.