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Police, Fire, Courts

By Star-Bulletin Staff

Thursday, March 16, 2000

Mental exam ordered in wife-burning case

LIHUE -- A man accused of setting his wife on fire will undergo a mental and physical examination before further court proceedings can continue.

Gregory Aguiar was supposed to appear in court today for a preliminary hearing, but District Judge Joseph Kobayashi granted a defense motion for the exams.

He also ordered Aguiar held without bail. Bail previously had been set at $100,000.

Aguiar, 49, is charged with attempted second-degree murder and reckless endangerment. He allegedly poured gasoline on his wife, Mui Lan Aguiar, 39, during an argument at their Eleele home Sunday. She remains in critical condition in the burn unit at Straub Clinic on Oahu.

Prosecutor Derrick Chan said a mental examination takes a minimum of 30 days.

Cramer murder suspect to stand trial May 15

A man charged with murdering a Waikiki video store clerk last year pleaded not guilty today in the murder of 83-year-old Fred Cramer a few months earlier.

Circuit Judge Richard Perkins today ordered Sam Cooper Jr., a convicted sex offender, to stand trial in the Cramer case on May 15.

Cooper is being held on $500,000 bail.

Cramer, a long-time Honolulu Symphony volunteer, was found bound and gagged in his Cleghorn Street apartment May 17.

Cooper had just been paroled March 30 after serving four years in prison for sex assault convictions.

He also awaits trial in the murder of Keith Miyashiro, who died Aug. 20 after being robbed and struck on the head at the Waikiki video store where he worked.

Former prison officials must pay $500,000

A federal judge has ordered three former state prison officials to pay more than $500,000 in legal fees to a former prison doctor who claimed he was harassed because he blew the whistle on abuse of inmates.

Dr. Terence Allen won a $110,000 judgment in the case in July.

His 1997 lawsuit alleged he was investigated, locked out of Halawa Correctional Facility and denied promotion after he spoke out about conditions at the prison.

The lawsuit named former Public Safety Director George Iranon, former Public Safety Deputy Director Eric Penarosa and former Halawa warden Guy Hall.

Judge Alan Kay ruled Friday that the defendants must pay $495,318 in attorneys' fees and costs, in addition to the $110,000 judgment and $48,043 in previously assessed costs.

The Honolulu law firm of Davis, Levin, Livingston and Grande, which represented Allen, announced the ruling yesterday.

Allen quit his prison job in 1997 and now practices medicine in Spokane, Wash.

Flight computer problem brings TWA plane back

A TWA aircraft bound from Honolulu to St. Louis returned here last night after failure of the flight management computer, Todd Burke, director of corporate communications, said today.

"At no time was there any danger and no emergency was declared," Burke said by telephone from TWA's St. Louis headquarters. "The pilot took standard precautions."

The Boeing 767 left here at 7:06 p.m. with 225 passengers and returned about 8:19 p.m., he said.

Flight 2, TWA's daily service to St. Louis from Honolulu, was canceled last night to await a spare part being brought here today from St. Louis, Burke said.

Passengers were placed on other flights, he said. "It's unfortunate when passengers don't get the destination they want, but safety is the most important thing."

He said regularly scheduled service from Honolulu and Maui to St. Louis would resume today.

Police, Fire, Courts


By Star-Bulletin staff

Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers

Kaneohe Marine arrested in death of his daughter

A 23-year-old Marine has been arrested in an investigation into the death of his 18-month-old daughter Saturday night.

The corporal, stationed at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe since November 1995, was arrested last night by military authorities. He is in custody pending results of a Naval Criminal Investigative Service investigation, according to a Marine base press release.

Firefighters keep watch on Waianae Valley blaze

A fire that swept through hundreds of acres of brush and pasture land at the back of Waianae Valley Road looked like a lava flow on Waianae mountain ridges as Honolulu Fire Department crews kept a firewatch last night.

Fifty-five firefighters in 17 city and federal companies fought the blaze that started at 2:11 p.m. They were called off at 8 p.m.

"As with all fires, there is a point where you need to just allow it to burn out," said fire department spokesman Capt. Richard Soo.

The fire came no closer to homes than 300 yards. Its cause is unknown.

Soo said fire generated a large volume of smoke which might cause respiratory problems to people downwind in Makaha.

"It's very dry. This is a prelude to the summer brush fire season," Soo said. "Seasoned firefighters say it is the largest they have fought in well over two years." That reflects the cyclical pattern in which "three years ago most of the large growth was burned out and for the last two years it was regrowing."

Soo said the concentration of manpower "surely taxed our resources. We had to bring companies from as far away as Manoa station to cover the Leeward Coast." Two military helicopters joined the fire department's Air One in dropping water on the fire front. In addition, four federal fire companies joined 13 Honolulu Fire Department units fighting fire on the ground.

Soo said fire officials will assess the scene this morning but will likely allow the fire to burn itself out. "Picture a hand with fingers. You just catch the fingers where they are endangering homes."

Argument over money gets bloody at Salt Lake

An argument over money between two men turned violent last night when one of them allegedly used a machete to slash the other.

The injured man, 19, was treated at a hospital for cuts on his left ear and forearm and released following the 11:10 p.m. incident at Ala Ilima and Ala Melia Place in Salt Lake. Police arrested a man, 23, for second-degree assault.

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