Thursday, July 15, 1999

Murder charge
filed in grand-
mother’s death

Police say the suspect initially
told officers his grandmother wasn't
home when they asked for her

By Debra Barayuga


A 28-year-old man suspected of killing his 78-year-old grandmother at their McCully high-rise Monday night told police she wasn't home when they arrived to investigate a dropped 911 call.

But when they asked to talk to her and began knocking on her bedroom door, he finally broke down. "Oh, I think she's dead. She's in the shower," said Denny Usui.

Usui was charged with second-degree murder last night in his grandmother's slaying. He was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Medical examiners have determined she died of asphyxiation.

In a court affidavit filed Tuesday, officer Walter Gouveia wrote that he heard a noise when he knocked on the door of Unit 2405 at 2499 Kapiolani Blvd., but no one came to the door.

He had security call the unit and it was answered by a man whom security identified as the grandson who lived there with his grandmother.

When asked why he didn't answer the door earlier, the man said he was in the bathroom, his grandmother was in the shower and they hadn't heard anyone knocking.

When Gouveia returned to the unit a second time, the man, later identified as Usui, told him everything was OK.

But when they asked for his grandmother, he told them she wasn't home. When asked why he had told security that she was in the shower earlier, he replied, "Oh, I don't know, she might be here."

When they asked to talk to her to make sure things were really OK, Usui said, "Oh yeah, OK, she's in the shower."

Another officer with Gouveia knocked on the closed door of one of the bedrooms, calling for the woman. Usui told the officer, "Oh, go inside, my grandma's bathroom is inside her room."

The officer entered the bedroom and 30 seconds later came out.

He told Gouveia there was a body in the tub covered with a blanket that appeared to be lifeless, the affidavit said.

Usui then stated, "Oh, I don't want to say anything else until I speak to my attorney because this is a felony and I never committed a murder before."

In the grandmother's bedroom, police found what appeared to be blood on the carpet at the edge of the bed and noted that the carpet appeared to have been recently vacuumed, Gouveia wrote.

The woman's body was found in the bathtub and was "neatly covered" in a beige knitted blanket with floral print.

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