Wednesday, February 17, 1999

Victim knew her
accused killer had a gun,
boyfriend testifies

By Rod Ohira


Eleanor "Ellie" Wimberly complained that her accused killer had made unwanted sexual advances and was armed with a gun, said the slain woman's boyfriend.

An emotional Duane Sato testified yesterday that Wimberly told him Matthew J. Clement was "throwing hints" at her about having sex.

Sato said on the day she was shot, Wimberly warned him "to be careful, that Matthew has a gun."

Clement, 27, is being held in lieu of $500,000 bail, charged with second-degree murder, first-degree burglary and firearm offenses.

The preliminary hearing before District Judge Colette Garibaldi heads into its third day today with about seven prosecution witnesses scheduled to testify.

Dr. Kanthi von Guenthner, first deputy medical examiner, yesterday said Wimberly, 43, was shot twice in the head, twice in the area of her nose and once in the chest on Feb. 3 in her Waiau home on Hoono Street. There were five entry and two exit wounds, von Guenthner said. Two bullets and fragments of a third were recovered from the body and turned over to police, she said.

Sato, 39, said he and Wimberly agreed the day before the shooting to "trade stuff to Matt for crystal methamphetamine."

Sato said he had to make three round trips on a bicycle to his parents' Pearl City home, about four miles away, to pick up tools to trade.

Water and electrical service to Wimberly's home had been discontinued three months earlier for nonpayment of bills, but upon returning with tools on his first trip, Sato said he noticed the house had electricity.

Wimberly told him Clement had somehow turned on the power, Sato said. Clement was watching X-rated movies in Wimberly's bedroom, and she was sewing, he said.

He was sent home again for more tools, and when he returned Clement was still watching movies, but Wimberly complained that he had made sexual advances, Sato said.

After going home and coming back for a third time, Sato said Wimberly agreed to trade clothes that fit Clement for drugs.

"I helped her fold up the clothes and put it in a green, aqua suitcase that had no handle," Sato said. "It was to trade for crystal meth."

But, Sato said, "Matthew didn't come up with his end" and kept stalling.

A deal was never made, although Clement later offered them "scrappings from a crystal meth pipe" that turned out to be "bunk" before fleeing from police who were cruising the neighborhood, he said.

When asked by Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Vince Kanemoto if he saw the aqua-colored suitcase that day, Sato said it was near the front door.

Sato testified he identified the suitcase recovered Feb. 6 at a Kauhihau Place residence, where Clement was arrested following a 16-hour barricade situation, as the one he saw at Wimberly's house.

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