Wednesday, April 28, 1999

Woman says she
saw fatal shooting

By Gary T. Kubota
Maui correspondent


WAILUKU -- A former girlfriend of Daniel Kosi said Kosi shot Maui kickboxer Eric Vinge after the men got into an argument that left Kosi bleeding on the right side of his head.

"You know I'm going to have to cap you," Abra Pearsall recalled Kosi saying to Vinge.

Pearsall, 24, a Maui High School dropout and admitted crystal methamphetamine user, yesterday testified against Kosi, who is charged with murdering Vinge near his Paukukalo home on Aug. 3, 1997.

Kosi, 25, also faces 14 other charges, including the murder of 17-year-old Aisha Tolentino during a police standoff at a south Maui condominium, and the kidnapping and attempted murder of Pearsall.

Kosi -- who has refused to be present in court during the trial -- was subdued by guards at the Maui jail yesterday, his attorney Joseph Mottl said.

Mottl said Kosi was "force medicated" and authorities are reviewing physical injuries sustained by him.

The court previously denied a defense motion to declare Kosi unfit to stand trial.

During her testimony, Pearsall said she remained friends with Kosi after their one-week relationship ended because he had access to drugs and she had no money or home.

She said Kosi told her she could stay at the home of his friend, Vinge, and drove her there.

Pearsall said Kosi went to the house and returned to the car bleeding from the head after meeting with Vinge.

Vinge followed Kosi to the car and challenged him to a fight on the street, but Kosi said he wanted to fight at a place near the mouth of the Iao Stream, Pearsall said.

"You know you're going to get hurt," Pearsall recalled Kosi telling Vinge.

Vinge began to run as Kosi pulled out a handgun from a bag in the car and shot two or three times, Pearsall said.

Prosecutors allege Kosi later kidnapped Pearsall with the intent of killing her but she escaped from the trunk of a car at a Maui condominium and called police.

Pearsall was expected to resume her testimony today before a Maui Circuit Court jury.

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