Wednesday, March 31, 1999

Trial starts for suspect
in fatal shooting spree

By Susan Kreifels


It turned out to be a bloody Sunday barbecue for the Botelho family.

On April 27, 1997, three men were shot at point-blank range at the family's Nanakuli home, one fatally, while children hid in a bedroom closet for fear the gunman would shoot them too.

Trial opened yesterday for Norman Montira, who is accused of the shooting spree.

Deputy Prosecutor Chris Van Marter told jurors in his opening statement that Montira deliberately shot the three men who "tried to stop a violent confrontation . . . so they couldn't interfere."

Van Marter said the defendant, then 47, was out to get Glenn Botelho, the brother of his former girlfriend, Cheryl Botelho. The couple had a daughter together but had split up, and Montira felt the brother was "meddling in the relationship."

Cheryl Botelho, who Van Marter said had been a victim of violent domestic abuse, had a temporary restraining order against Montira.

Montira had threatened to kill the Botelhos in a phone call to them two days before the shootings, Van Marter said.

Keith Shigetomi, Montira's attorney, said in his opening statement that Montira did not intend to shoot anyone.

"He didn't attempt to murder the three," Shigetomi said. "They were his friends. He didn't want anyone dead."

Cheryl Botelho had baited Montira, even asking him to come to the house so they could "shove a gun" up him, Shigetomi said.

"Cheryl couldn't leave him alone," Shigetomi said. "She played with his mind.

"He took it. He had to because he wanted to see his daughter."

On April 27, Montira woke up with a terrible headache, Shigetomi said. His daughter had called him many times.

Then Cheryl Botelho called, telling him, " 'Glenn is going to help me take away your daughter. You're not going to see her again.' He snapped," Shigetomi said.

Montira grabbed a gun because he knew there were firearms at the Botelho house, Shigetomi said.

When he arrived, he "fired without thought or care" at the three victims when he saw movement or believed someone was coming after him, Shigetomi said.

Montira faces second-degree murder, three counts of attempted murder and other related charges. Circuit Judge Melvin Soong is presiding over the trial.

David Eli, 24, who tried to stop Montira, died hours later from a gunshot to his chest.

Timothy Calderon was hospitalized from a life-threatening gun wound. Calderon, 56, died last month from an unrelated health problem, Van Marter said.

Ronald Botelho, 44, was shot in the arm.

Van Marter said the three shooting victims saw Montira head toward Cheryl Botelho, pointing the gun at her, and tried to stop him. Montira shot point-blank at the three.

Montira then "grabbed Cheryl by the hair, dragging her into the house," Van Marter said. He constantly yelled " 'Where's Glenn?' "

Montira took her to the master bedroom, where children were hidden in the closet, and shot another round but didn't hit anyone, Van Marter said.

Montira left when he couldn't find Glenn Botelho, who had left the house earlier.

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