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Preliminary hearing awaits accused shooter


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POSTED: Thursday, April 16, 2009

Melvin Yoshida will face a preliminary hearing tomorrow afternoon on charges he shot his neighbor, who allegedly spurned him, on Easter Sunday.

Yoshida, 70, made his initial court appearance before District Court Judge Edwin Nacino yesterday on charges of a second-degree murder and the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

He is accused of shooting Clare Silva, 54, in her first-floor apartment at the Punchbowl Homes complex on Captain Cook Avenue. Silva's friends said she had been the target of Yoshida's unwanted attention and sexual advances.

Yoshida, who was barefoot, shackled and wearing a white prison jumpsuit, did not address the court and was represented by Deputy Public Defender Robert Olson.

Silva was president of the residents association at Punchbowl Homes, a low-income public housing complex for senior citizens and the disabled.

Yoshida is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail.