Thursday, May 13, 1999

Witness in Maui
slaying trial says
defendant killed hostage

By Gary T. Kubota


WAILUKU -- A prosecution witness yesterday testified that Daniel Kosi used a knife to kill a 17-year-old female hostage during a 24-hour police standoff at a south Maui condominium.

Chad Caldito said his acquaintance, Aisha Tolentino, was gagged with a towel and dragged into a bathroom, where she was killed by Kosi.

Kosi, 25, is standing trial on 15 felony charges, including the fatal shooting of kickboxer Eric Vinge near his Paukukalo home Aug. 3, 1997, and the stabbing death of Tolentino at Maui Banyans Condominiums 12 days later.

A Maui Circuit Court jury resumes hearing testimony today.

Caldito, also a hostage, said his hands were bound as he waited in a nearby bedroom, listening to Tolentino gagged with a towel in a bathroom make gurgling sounds.

Then, Kosi left the bathroom, he said. Caldito recalled Kosi saying, "(Expletive), I get hard time cut off her head."

Caldito said the bathroom floor was covered with blood.

He said he knew Kosi through their use of drugs.

Maui police surrounded the condominium on Aug. 14, 1997, after a witness to the Vinge shooting escaped a car trunk where she had been bound by Kosi.

Caldito said Kosi barricaded the front door and sliding glass door and pulled out a handgun from his backpack.

"I was scared," Caldito said. "I had a feeling nobody could leave."

Kosi used a knife to cut a cord from a lamp and tied the hands of Caldito and Tolentino.

Kosi told Caldito he would be the first to die, Caldito recalled.

"Did you believe him," asked Deputy Prosecutor Robert Rivera.

"Yes," Caldito said.

"And then he stabbed you in the neck?" Rivera asked.

"Yeah," Caldito said.

Later, Kosi changed his mind and decided to kill Tolentino, Caldito recalled.

"He told her she just saved my life," Caldito said.

Caldito said he tried to free himself while Kosi was in the bathroom with Tolentino and had one hand free when Kosi came out.

Caldito said he was stabbed in the chest by Kosi and tied up again.

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