By Star-Bulletin Staff

Thursday, February 18, 1999

Father convicted on
lesser abuse charges

By Debra Barayuga, Star-Bulletin

A Circuit Court jury found a man charged with abusing his 3-year-old daughter guilty of the reduced offenses of assault.

Kinyatta Cooper yesterday cried and praised the Lord when the jury announced its verdict after three hours of deliberations over two days. Deputy public defender Todd Eddins called the verdict "appropriate."

Cooper, 24, was arrested and charged with second-degree assault and attempted second-degree assault after waiting two days to bring his daughter Tajhai to Tripler Hospital in June 1998 for treatment of a broken arm. He told police he had picked the child up in anger to scold her for soiling her pants and had set her down, but the toddler fell back, landing on her arm.

The jury instead found Cooper guilty of recklessly causing her injuries, a misdemeanor.

Doctors who examined the toddler also found her entire body, except for her palms and soles of her feet, covered with bruises. Cooper, 24, admitted to beating her almost "every other day" with his hand, a belt or shower brush handle to discipline her.

The defense had argued that although he caused the child's injuries, he didn't do it intentionally.

Cooper, an enlisted Navy man, faces a year's imprisonment on two charges of third-degree assault when sentenced April 16.

While the jury found him guilty of causing his daughter's fracture, the issue was his state of mind at the time, said deputy prosecutor Lucianne Khalaf.

"It's hard to attribute to a parent that he knowingly or intentionally intended to cause the fracture."

Cooper's wife Tammy, 21, pleaded guilty to a more serious charge of second-degree assault for whipping the toddler's face repeatedly with folded extension cords. She is awaiting sentencing.

Senate president's wife beaten during robbery

Harriet Mizuguchi, owner/president of Hawaii Malls Inc. and the wife of the state Senate president, was struck several times on the head with a rubber hammer by a man who stole her purse.

Norman Mizuguchi said his wife was fine, but declined further comment when contacted at his home late last night.

Harriet Mizuguchi, 56, was alone in her Gentry Pacific Design Center office at 560 N. Nimitz Highway when she was assaulted during a robbery at about 4:45 p.m. yesterday, police said.

She suffered facial and head injuries and was taken to Queen's Hospital in serious but stable condition. She was in fair condition this morning.

The suspect is still at large.

Police said the suspect is about 5 feet 7 inches tall and 170 pounds. He has fair skin and possibly blond hair.

In a March 1997 letter to the editor of the Star-Bulletin, Harriet Mizuguchi said Hawaii Malls is the exclusive Hawaii representative for 3M Media and is responsible for selling advertising to local clients.

3M Media is one of the largest out-of-home advertising companies nationwide, she added. Hawaii Malls was formed in 1982.

Groups will remember order for internments

Japanese Americans and Japanese Latin Americans will gather Saturday at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii to remember the signing of Executive Order 9066 by President Franklin Roosevelt on Feb. 19, 1942.

The order authorized relocation and internment of people of Japanese descent during World War II. Each year, Japanese American groups remember the day.

The Japanese American Citizens League, Honolulu Chapter, and the American Friends Service Committee Hawaii Area Program are sponsoring the annual Day of Remembrance observance from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday in Room 102 of the cultural center at 2454 S. Beretania St. This year's event is called "Unfinished Business: Redress for Japanese Latin Americans."

Featured speakers will include Julie Small, co-chair, Campaign for Justice, a group advocating redress for Japanese Latin Americans interned during World War II; Elsa Kudo, a Japanese Latin American camp survivor whose father pioneered efforts to win redress for Japanese Latin Americans; and Maurice Yamasato, a Japanese Latin American internment survivor.

Witness says defendant was making threats

A man who spoke to Matthew James Clement on the day Eleanor "Ellie" Wimberly was killed testified yesterday that Clement wanted to "take care of a Japanese guy" so he could move in with that man's girlfriend.

Steven Gilleece, who has no permanent local address, testified in District Court that Clement spoke of his plan during a meeting under the Waimalu bridge Feb. 3, the day Wimberly was shot to death in her Waiau home in Pearl City. Clement is charged with second-degree murder, first-degree burglary and firearm offenses. He is being held in lieu of $500,000.

Clement was arrested at 98-114 Kauhihau Place after a 16-hour barricade situation.

Wimberly, her boyfriend Duane Sato and Clement became involved in a drug dispute over items to be traded for crystal methamphetamine the day before the shooting, Sato said yesterday in court.

Humane society offers free spaying for cats

The Hawaiian Humane Society is offering registration for 500 free cat sterilization surgeries on "Spay Day '99" from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday.

To make an appointment, cat owners can call the society at 946-2187, extension 209, or stop by a special drive-through registration service in the front parking lot.

The society will only make appointments for the free spaying on Spay Day.

The surgeries will be performed in February and March at the society as part of a national effort to bring attention to the benefits of pet sterilization.

Owners will also be offered a free ID tag, or they can purchase a microchip ID for only $5 when they have their cats sterilized.

See expanded coverage in today's Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
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Police, Fire


By Star-Bulletin staff


Five officers honored in Pearl City standoff

Police Chief Lee Donohue will recognize five officers for their work in a hostage standoff in Pearl City last year.

Officer Daniel Aoki will be presented with the Warrior Bronze Medal of Valor on Monday.

Officers Samuel Asui and David Brown will be presented with the Certificate of Merit, and Officers Dennis Dupont and Robin Puahala will receive letters of appreciation.

The Warrior Bronze Medal of Valor is awarded to officers "who display gallantry in the performance of duty."

Certificates of Merit are given to officers who have distinguished themselves by exceptional performance of duty.

Marijuana plants seized in Kau and South Kona

KAILUA-KONA -- Police working with the National Guard and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration seized 3,279 marijuana plants in the Kau and South Kona districts yesterday, they said. No arrests were reported.

CrimeStoppers tip leads to fugitive's arrest

Police found a CrimeStoppers fugitive with the public's help.

Craig Takeshita was wanted in connection with a burglary, officials said. He was arrested yesterday after a tipster reported Takeshita was in Pearl City.

See expanded coverage in today's Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
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