By Star-Bulletin Staff

Wednesday, March 31, 1999

Waialua man charged in
death of salesman

Michael Lawrence of Waialua has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of missing vacuum cleaner salesman Melchor Tabag, 41, although Tabag's body has not been found.

Bail for Lawrence, 23, was set at $150,000. He was to be arraigned today in District Court.

Lawrence and Tabag were seen fighting in front of Lawrence's Waialua home, and Lawrence was later found driving Tabag's car. A bloody saw and knife were found in the vehicle, police said.

Police and K-9 units are continuing to search for Tabag.

Housing groups ponder pooling economic resources

Honolulu Habitat for Humanity and Consuelo Alger Foundation, two nonprofit housing groups, recently began a round table with a dozen other groups to discuss ways to economically band together.

The upshot to the public: More money donated to these groups will go to people in need than to pay for the groups' overhead costs, said Ken Armstrong of Honolulu Habitat for Humanity.

Currently, 10,000 families in Hawaii are in immediate need of adequate housing, Armstrong said.

"The economy is pushing us toward something we should have done a long time ago," Armstrong said.

Ex-surgeon general to discuss tobacco

Former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop will discuss the magnitude of tobacco problems at a free public meeting April 10 at the state Capitol auditorium.

"No Smoking in Paradise" is the theme of the meeting, from 8 a.m. until noon.

Registration will be at 7:30 a.m. To register in advance, call the Straub Foundation at 524-6755.

The foundation, Coalition for Tobacco Free Hawaii and the American Cancer Society Hawaii Pacific Inc. are sponsoring the event.

A two-day meeting for doctors, nurses and other professionals on "Physician Intervention for Tobacco Cessation" also will be held April 10-11 at the Ihilani Hotel & Spa.

Discussions at the public event will cover the tobacco settlement and what it can mean to Hawaii, the ethics of the tobacco industry and why smoking is bad for health.

The importance of financing tobacco prevention and education will be emphasized.



Bullet A march and rally to urge policymakers to support the University of Hawaii's school of public health will be from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 7. The march will begin at the Department of Health and end at the state Capitol. An incorrect day was reported in Monday's Star-Bulletin.

Bullet David Temple is the first vice-president for the United States Professional Tennis Association Board of Directors. His name was omitted from an announcement Monday.

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


By Star-Bulletin staff


Chinatown stabbing
case goes to jury

By Susan Kreifels, Star-Bulletin

Jurors began deliberation yesterday in the second-degree murder trial of a homeless woman accused of stabbing a homeless man in Chinatown in August 1997.

The stabbing was in self-defense, public defender David Hayakawa said outside the courtroom. He said the victim had been on top of Anita "Blackie" Brady, 40, "punching her in the eyes."

When a friend pulled them apart, "the victim was still trying to get her," Hayakawa said.

Brady was disoriented, grabbed a 21/2-inch knife and stabbed William Lee Bass once in the right rib, Hayakawa said. She did not intend to kill Bass, 43, but was aiming for his arm.

But the "weird angle" of the victim made the knife cut the main artery to the heart, he said.

Deputy Prosecutor Russell Uehara said outside the courtroom that Brady did not act in self-defense. "She had the opportunity to walk away," Uehara said.

The prosecutor showed jurors photos of Brady after her arrest, pointing out that the only injury she suffered from the fight was a bruise to her eyebrow.

Hayakawa said police never questioned Brady about Bass beating her but there was a witness. He added: "There was a lack of sympathy for the homeless woman."

Hayakawa said the fight had begun over $10 Bass owed Brady. Instead he bought $10 of crack cocaine and Brady knocked the drugs out of his hands in disgust.

Two more plead guilty
in counterfeitring

By Susan Kreifels, Star-Bulletin

Two more people have pleaded guilty in an Oahu counterfeiting ring that produced false identification cards to use with stolen checks and credit cards.

That leaves one of 10 indicted on federal charges to face trial.

Deputy U.S. Attorney Les Osborne said Mary Jane Fontanilla and Richard Pascua changed their pleas to guilty yesterday before Magistrate Judge Francis Yamashita.

Seven others had already pleaded guilty, Osborne said.

Tina Marie Abalos, 42, the alleged ringleader, still faces charges.

Fontanilla will be sentenced July 19; Pascua will be sentenced Aug. 2. Each faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Abalos is accused of buying stolen mail that contained check and credit cards from Pascua and others to purchase merchandise or obtain funds from banks.

From March until May last year, Laine Lacanaria allegedly produced 200 false identification cards for Abalos using computer graphics. Fontanilla was also accused of using false ID cards with stolen checks and credit cards.

More than 30 people may have been in the ring, which cost local banks and merchants $250,000 to $1 million, federal officials said.


Wahiawa man arrested in stabbing in Mililani

A 19-year-old Wahiawa man was arrested last night for allegedly stabbing a 28-year-old man at a house party in Mililani.

The older man and his friends showed up at a party at 95-061 Kawau St. near the Mililani Golf Club at 11:40 p.m., police said.

They were immediately asked by the homeowner to leave, police said. While outside, the man got in a fight and was stabbed many times. The suspect was booked for attempted murder.

Several shots fired into Waianae house

Police are searching for suspects in a drive-by shooting last night in Waianae Valley. A unknown person drove by a Kawili Street home, fired several shots into the house at 8:33 p.m. and drove away, police said. No one was injured.

Waikele chain reaction injures 5, shuts highway

Five people were hurtyesterday when a man driving a Mazda sedan slammed into a car in Waikele, causing a four-car chain reaction.

The man was on Kamehameha Highway and Lumiaina Street when he rear-ended a car waiting at a red light at 12:46 p.m., police said.

The accident closed the highway for about three hours.

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