By Star-Bulletin Staff

Tuesday, March 23, 1999

USS Oklahoma City finally comes to its end

The cruiser USS Oklahoma City, which saw service in World War II and the Vietnam War, ended a 55-year career today by serving as a torpedo and missile target in a multinational naval exercise near the Mariana Islands.

Harpoon, Penguin and Maverick missiles and torpedoes from warships from the United States, Singapore, South Korea and Australia were used to sink the 610-foot cruiser.

A brief ceremony was held in Guam, and the last flag that flew over the ship will be sent to the USS Oklahoma City Memorial Association, the Navy said.

Jury says its unable to agree in murder trial

The jury in the murder trial of John Joseph Griffiths declared a mistrial this morning.

Griffiths was accused of killing Eric Kamanu, the runner-up in the 1986 Mr. Hawaiian Islands

bodybuilding competition, 10 years ago.

Eight jurors voted to convict Griffiths, while four jurors couldn't find him guilty.

Juror Tom Izon said the evidence was not strong enough and found some witnesses not believable.

The state has six months to decide whether to retry the case, said Graham Mottola, attorney representing Griffiths, 36.

Hawaii canoe headed from Pohnpei to Chuuk

The Big Island voyaging canoe Makali'i is in the midst of a four-day sail to the Micronesian island of Chuuk after six days at Pohnpei, said spokeswoman Pomai Bertelmann. The canoe sailed yesterday, she said.

The 54-foot canoe is making a series of voyages from Hawaii and through Micronesia to honor traditional navigator Mau Piailug, the Micronesian who taught Hawaiians how to navigate by the stars in the 1970s after the knowledge had died out here.

After reaching Chuuk, the canoe will continue to Piailug's home island of Satawal, then on to Saipan, Bertelmann said.

Man who killed baby enters 'no contest' plea

WAILUKU -- A Maui man yesterday pleaded no contest to second-degree murder in the death of a 15-month-old toddler in Kahului in October 1997.

Peter Pasigan Jr., 27, is scheduled to be sentenced on May 25 before Maui Circuit Judge Shackley Raffetto. He is being held on $300,000 bail.

Pasigan was baby-sitting for his girlfriend Delinah Silva when he shook her daughter Shyla-Ann several times, leaving her unconscious, police alleged.

Murder suspect denied bail, faces extradition

A Hawaii state judge turned down a $1 million cash bail for a man accused of fatally stabbing a homeless person in the eyes in Seattle more than 30 times with a screwdriver last January.

Anthony Thomas Waller, 21, will remain in jail until he is extradited to Washington state to face charges of first-degree murder.

Autopsy results won't be ready for weeks

Investigators say they won't know what caused the death of Eric Sumida, who died after a scuffle with police officers, for six to eight weeks, pending test results.

Police yesterday were looking into the reported malfunction of a radio used by the officers to call for backup. The radios are equipped with a red "alert" button for emergencies, and one of two officers who were injured in the scuffle said he pressed the button, but no signal was received by HPD Dispatch.

Randall Fujiki, director of the city Department of Design and Construction, said tests were run yesterday on the same type of radio at the location of the Friday incident.

The HPD antenna received a good signal, Fujiki said.

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Police, Fire


By Star-Bulletin staff

Two men force way into hotel room, rob woman

Police are searching for two men who robbed a tourist inside a Waikiki hotel room this morning.

The two men forced their way into an Ambassador Hotel room at about 1 a.m. and tied up a 25-year-old woman with the telephone cord, police said.

They took her money and belongings and ran away, police said. The woman later freed herself and notified security.

House in Fern Forest destroyed by fire

HILO -- Fire destroyed an unoccupied seven-bedroom house in rural Fern Forest subdivision 20 miles south of Hilo yesterday, fire officials said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Woman injured when car hits base of bridge

WAILUKU -- A Maui woman was in critical condition this morning at Maui Memorial Hospital after the car she was riding in struck the underpass base of the Wailuku bridge.

Song Chu, 36, of Wailuku was in a car traveling toward the bridge's underpass in the Kihei direction when it struck the base close to 12:58 a.m. today, police said.

Police traffic investigator Jamie Becraft said the driver, Charles Swift, 43, of Lahaina was in stable condition.

He said the two were not wearing seat belts and police officers were still awaiting results of medical tests to help determine the cause of the accident.

Officer to be honored for rescuing motorist

Honolulu police officer Douglas Lee will be honored tomorrow by Police Chief Lee Donohue for rescuing an injured motorist from a burning car.

Lee, of the Pearl City District, will be awarded the Warrior Bronze Medal of Valor. The award is the third highest award given by the department. Also to be honored:

bullet Officer Damien Solon, the department's officer of the quarter.
bullet Sgt. Clayton Chung, a certificate of merit for his role in coordinating last year's hostage standoff in Pearl City.
bullet Officer Alfred Prado, the certificate of merit for talking a man into giving himself up.

Brush fire contained despite gusting winds

WAIMEA, Hawaii -- Despite winds gusting to 40 miles per hour, firefighters were able to limit a brush fire in a ravine near Kohala Estates in west Hawaii to one acre yesterday, they said. The fire, which was put out in 21/2 hours, was caused by sparks from a worker cutting metal with a chop saw, officials said.

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