Saturday, February 27, 1999

Girlfriend says
murder suspect
threw out bloody
pants and knife

By Rod Thompson


KEAAU, Hawaii -- Claiming to be a hit man, murder suspect Jefferson Solomon Kauilani Pau gave his girlfriend $123 just 45 minutes after stabbing victim Itsuko Ito was last known to be alive, according to court testimony yesterday.

Girlfriend Myla Soleta said "Kaui" Pau, 22, who did not have a job, was wearing bloodstained pants when he gave her the money.

He took her for a ride in a car that wasn't his, and she watched as he threw the bloody pants and a knife in bushes, she said.

District Judge Sandra Schutte yesterday found there was sufficient evidence to hold Pau on a murder charge for the death of Ito, 72, found with numerous stab wounds at her house in Keaau on Feb. 16.

Because Ito was older than 60, Pau would be sentenced to a minimum of 15 years in prison if convicted.

The murder charge also says the killing was done with exceptional depravity, wording that could lead to a sentence of life in prison without parole.

Testifying sullenly, then breaking into tears, Soleta said she had been Pau's girlfriend for "four months, two weeks and a day."

He had lived off and on with an aunt who lived next door to Ito in Keaau, she said.

Pau arrived at Soleta's house in Nanawale, 12 miles from Keaau, on Feb. 9 at 12:15 p.m. Another witness, a receptionist from a dentist's office, said she had spoken to Ito by telephone at 11:30 a.m.

Pau said he got the car he was driving from "Uncle Tony," but Soleta wrote down the license number because "there's something wrong with the picture," she said.

The number was the license of Ito's car, Detective Glenn Uehana later testified.

After Pau gave her money and threw away the bloody pants and knife, he drove away, then walked back to her house, saying he gave the car to "Uncle Henry," Soleta said. "He told me he was a hit man, but he really wasn't," she said.

In a statement she didn't explain, she also said, "He just wanted to rob her."

Soleta said she went to police because "my brother made statements already."

"I had to get it off my mind," she said.

In the sole discrepancy in testimony, Uehana said he was present at the autopsy of Ito, which determined she was killed by a single-edge blade 6 to 8 inches long.

Soleta said Pau's knife blade was double-edged and about 3 to 5 inches long.

E-mail to City Desk

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
[Stylebook] [Feedback]

© 1999 Honolulu Star-Bulletin