Saturday, May 29, 1999

Guilty verdict
delivered in Maui
murder trial

In August, Daniel Kosi,
25, shot one victim and
later stabbed a hostage

By Gary T. Kubota


WAILUKU -- Irene Vinge says she sat through six weeks of a jury trial at Maui Circuit Court to find out why her 24-year-old son Eric Vinge was shot to death.

She says she's "very satisfied" with the guilty verdict against her son's killer, Daniel Kosi, and in knowing that the shooting was prompted by a fight, although it seems senseless.

"I guess I just got to live with it," said Vinge, who has assumed guardianship of her son's three children, ages 3, 5 and 7.

A jury last night found Kosi, 25, guilty of numerous felonies, including the Aug. 3 gunshot murder of Vinge near his Paukukalo home and the fatal stabbing of hostage Aisha Tolentino during a police standoff at a southern Maui condominium about 12 days later.

He also was found guilty of two counts of attempted murder involving hostage Chad Caldito and Abra Pearsall, who was an eyewitness to the Vinge shooting.

Sentencing for Kosi is scheduled for July 27 at 8 a.m. before Judge Shackley Raffetto.

During closing arguments yesterday, the mothers and relatives of the two murder victims were seated together on the left side of the court, and Kosi's relatives were on the right.

Kosi's attorney Joseph Mottl III still showed a cut and bruise on the left bridge of his nose from being struck by his client, who became angry when Judge Shackley Raffetto denied his request to leave the courtroom during the trial.

Raffetto also denied Mottl's request for a mistrial based on Kosi's attack on him before jurors.

Mottl, interviewed yesterday, said he felt all right and did not plan to file an assault charge against his client.

Mottl sat about a foot from Kosi, who had both hands shackled and his legs shackled to his chair.

In his closing statement, Deputy Prosecutor Robert Rivera charged that Kosi planned to use a chain saw on Abra Pearsall.

Rivera said Kosi's intention was clear when he asked his acquaintance Anthony Carvalho to get the chain saw, with Pearsall held hostage.

Pearsall eventually escaped from a car trunk, and police surrounded the Maui Banyans Condominium unit, where Kosi threatened to kill hostages, the prosecution alleges.

Kosi not only killed Tolentino but also tried to cut off her head after her death, Rivera said.

E-mail to City Desk

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

© 1999 Honolulu Star-Bulletin