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Accused killer lays blame on witness


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POSTED: Saturday, October 31, 2009

Murder defendant Patrick W. Deguair Jr. testified in his own defense yesterday, turning the tables on a chief witness against him.

Deguair, 32, is on trial for second-degree murder and other charges in connection with the March 27, 2007, death of Jermaine Duckworth. The state says Deguair killed Duckworth, 24, for squealing on him to police about an earlier home-invasion robbery. Duckworth was also a suspect in the robbery.

Key prosecution witness David Teo testified earlier this week that he was sitting in the back seat of Deguair's rented sport utility vehicle when he saw Deguair fatally shoot Duckworth.

Tourists later found Duckworth's body on some rocks at the bottom of a cliff near Yokohama Bay beach.

Deguair's defense is that Teo is the real killer.

On the witness stand yesterday, Deguair said he sat in an SUV in Nanakuli for about an hour after Teo and Duckworth walked off on Hakimo Road. He said Teo returned alone and told him not to worry about Duckworth.

Two defense witnesses also testified yesterday that Teo told them he killed Duckworth.

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Teo testified as part of a cooperation agreement with the state. He pleaded guilty to firearm possession in connection with Duckworth's murder, violating his probation for auto theft and robbing Aiea Cue on April 3, 2008. He has been in protective custody since his arrest in April of last year.

Deguair and witness Ju Young Woo are awaiting trial for the Aiea Cue robbery.

Teo said Woo was seated in the front passenger seat of the SUV when Deguair killed Duckworth.

Woo is not scheduled to testify in the trial.

Woo has made statements to police, backing up Teo's testimony that Deguair shot Duckworth, but a judge is considering whether to allow the statements as evidence in the trial, said Scott Bell, deputy city prosecutor.