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Nofoa admitted killing Kaukani, brother testifies


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POSTED: Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The lawyer for Toi Nofoa, who is charged with the murder of his ex-girlfriend, began laying the foundation for an extreme mental or emotional disturbance defense yesterday during a preliminary hearing in Honolulu District Court.


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The tragedy of the killing of Royal Kaukani continued to magnify as brother was pitted against brother. 3/24/09

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Nofoa, 31, faces first-degree murder, second-degree murder and firearm charges in the March 17 shooting death of ex-girlfriend Royal Kaukani, 25, in Ewa.

Police charged Nofoa with first-degree murder — punishable by life in prison without parole — because Kaukani was the complaining witness against him in pending kidnapping and terroristic threatening cases. Nofoa remains in custody in lieu of $4 million bail.

Judge Edwin Nacino sent the case to Circuit Court for trial and scheduled Nofoa's arraignment next month.

Defense attorney Craig Nagamine asked Nofoa's younger brother, Richard Taifane, what Nofoa's emotional condition was in two telephone conversations — one before the shooting and one after.

Taifane said Nofoa made the first call and was crying when he told his brother that he saw Kaukani with another man.

He said Nofoa raised him and his three brothers and he never cried. But during his tumultuous relationship with Kaukani, Taifane said, Nofoa got meaner and more emotional.

“;There was something that ticked him off, flicked his switch, made him go psycho.”;

At one point he said he had to tell his brother to leave Kaukani alone because Nofoa was stalking her. He also said Kaukani told him if Nofoa didn't leave her alone, someone was going to shoot his brother or she would do it herself.

Taifane said his aunt in Sacramento made a conference telephone call to him after the shooting and he could hear Nofoa crying on the line. When he asked his brother what was wrong, he said Nofoa told him he shot Kaukani, and that Kaukani told him to shoot her.

“;His tears and his emotions were mixing with his words, made him sound crazy,”; Taifane said.

When Nofoa said he was going to kill himself, Taifane said he tried to keep his brother on the line while he called police on another telephone.

First Deputy Honolulu Medical Examiner William Goodhue said Kaukani died from a gunshot wound that entered the left side on the back of her neck and exited her right cheek. He said she also had a glancing gunshot wound on her left cheek.