Closure eludes slain man's father


POSTED: Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The mistrial in the Patrick W. Deguair Jr. murder trial yesterday is sad but no surprise to a man whose son was killed nearly seven years ago.

Terry Scheidt has been following Deguair's criminal cases ever since he heard Deguair's name mentioned in connection with his son's slaying.

Michael R. Scheidt, 38, died Dec. 20, 2002, of a gunshot wound to his chest.

Honolulu police said Scheidt was shot at Kahe Point Beach Park. People at the park called an ambulance, which took Scheidt to St. Francis Medical Center West, where he died.

Terry Scheidt said when he went to the beach park to place flowers, homeless people living there approached him, told him what happened and who shot his son.

Police said at the time that the shooting might have been drug-related.

To date, police have not arrested or charged anyone with Michael Scheidt's death.

However, in 2003 the city Prosecutor's Office identified Deguair in state court records as a suspect in the killing.

At the time, Deguair was awaiting trial for attempted first-degree murder and two counts of attempted second-degree murder.

The prosecutor said Deguair and a group of his friends went to a home on Nanilihilihi Place near Waipio Neighborhood Park on the evening of Nov. 14, 2001, to provoke a fight. Deguair fired several rounds from a 9 mm pistol at the victims, the prosecutor said in state court records.

None of the shots hit anyone.

A state jury acquitted Deguair of the attempted murder and firearm charges after the victims were unable to positively identify who from a group of two cars and two motorcycles shot at them on the darkened roadway.

Witnesses told authorities they were afraid to give statements because Deguair is known to carry a concealed pistol, the prosecutor said in court records.

In the case that ended in mistrial, the man arrested with Deguair at the Pagoda Hotel told police he did not want to give them a statement because he was afraid Deguair was going to “;whack”; him, too. The man later testified at trial on Deguair's behalf.

Earlier this year, Terry Scheidt wrote a letter to the prosecutor asking about the status of his son's murder case.

Prosecutor Peter Carlisle responded, “;Despite our efforts and the efforts of HPD, all our leads to date have led nowhere. While there are many rumors on the street, we have no credible witness who is willing to testify as to the identity of the person who caused the death of your son.”;

Terry Scheidt said the mistrial has made him even more skeptical that his son's killer will be brought to justice.

“;My son's case is going to remain unsolved,”; Scheidt said.

Honolulu police said their investigation remains open.