Tuesday, May 18, 1999


Woman describes deadly
standoff on Maui

By Gary T. Kubota


WAILUKU -- The former girlfriend of accused double murderer Daniel Kosi has said he ordered her to select a hostage for him to kill or face being killed herself.

"He asked me if I was ready to go to heaven," Jennifer Kong told a Maui Circuit Court jury yesterday. "I started crying and said, 'No, I'm not.' "

Kosi, 25, is on trial facing 15 felony charges, including the gunshot killing of kickboxer Eric Vinge near his Paukukalo home on Aug. 3, 1997, and the stabbing death of Aisha Tolentino during a police standoff 12 days later.

Defense attorney Joseph Mottl III has argued Kosi is mentally unfit to stand trial. Kosi occasionally has refused to be present during trial but was seated in the courtroom yesterday, his ankles shackled to his chair, sometimes writing notes as Kong testified.

Kosi was wanted as a suspect in the murder of Vinge, when police surrounded a Maui Banyans Condominium unit on Aug. 14.

Kong said that realizing he was surrounded, Kosi held her hostage, along with Tolentino and her boyfriend Chad Caldito.

She said while in the condo, Kosi hit her with a handgun, after she refused to kiss him.

Kong said under threat from Kosi, she picked hostage Chad Caldito to be the one to die and that Caldito was stabbed in the neck and chest by Kosi.

Kosi eventually dragged Tolentino to the bathroom, where he killed her, Kong testified.

Kong recalled Kosi saying to Caldito and her: "This girl taking a long time to die."

Kosi is later heard on a tape recording saying he had a present for a hostage negotiator but was having problems delivering Tolentino. "I get some kind technical difficulties," said Kosi, who then laughs.

During her testimony, Kong began crying as she described seeing Kosi squatting in the bathroom over the body of Tolentino.

"Daniel, I f------ hate you so much," Kong shouted across the courtroom.

Judge Shackley Raffetto called a lunch recess in the trial, after Kong continued sobbing.

E-mail to City Desk

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
[Stylebook] [Feedback]

© 1999 Honolulu Star-Bulletin