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Wednesday, June 14, 2000



Xerox Trial

The trial, day by day

Day 1

May 15: City Prosecutor Peter Carlisle described Byran Uyesugi as a disgruntled "problem employee" who arrived for his work group meeting Nov. 2 with a concealed 9mm semiautomatic Glock and extra ammunition to kill seven Xerox employees.

Defense attorney Rodney Ching attributed the multiple killings to Uyesugi's "long-standing and deeply ingrained" delusion disorder that caused him to believe his co-workers were conspiring against him.

Day 2

May 17: The first witness to the multiple shootings, retired Xerox employee Ronald Yamanaka, testified hearing firecracker-like sounds and seeing Uyesugi standing in the conference room and supervisor Melvin Lee falling backward.

Victims' widows Merry Lynn Balatico, Karen Mark, Susan Sakamoto, Ann Lee, Lorna Kanehira and Lynn Kataoka, and a victim's son, Reid Kawamae, recalled their memories of the seven men.

Day 3

May 18: Randall Shin, who was spared, said he saw the first two victims shot dead and Uyesugi holding a gun. Four years before the shooting, Uyesugi threatened: "I'll shoot them all," according to former Xerox employee Clyde Nitta. Another Xerox employee, Russell Inaba said Uyesugi challenged him to a fight in 1993 because of a disagreement over copier machines.

City chief medical examiner Alvin Omori, who performed autopsies on three of the seven victims, said the victims each were shot four to five times.

Day 4

May 19: Police negotiator Sheryl Sunia said Uyesugi told her he believed Xerox was ready to fire him and that "he did what he had to do because he had to make a point."

Sunia said Uyesugi mentioned suicide as possible exit and worried if he would be treated fairly by police and the legal system.

Retired Xerox employee, Roy Ogawa, said he warned Uyesugi about losing his job because of customers' complaints. But Uyesugi shrugged off the warning, saying management won't do anything.

Day 5

May 22: Psychiatrists Denis Mee-Lee and Marvin Mathews, who evaluated Uyesugi in 1993 after he kicked an elevator and threatened co-workers, both said they concluded that Uyesugi suffered from a delusion disorder but did not require confinement in a hospital.

Day 6

May 24: Three court appointed mental health experts testified that Uyesugi suffered from delusional disorder or schizophrenia but he was not legally insane.

Xerox worker Steve Matsuda, whom prosecutors described as "the survivor" Uyesugi tried to kill, testified about hearing gunfire and fleeing the building.

Day 7

May 25: Prosecution rested its case after city first deputy medical examiner Kanthi von Guenthner testified that the remaining victims died from gunshot wounds.

The defense opened with testimony from Uyesugi's father and brother about him being plagued with a black shadow and a poking in the back of his head.

Arguing a lack of evidence, defense requested dismissal of charges that Uyesugi murdered Ronald Kawamae and tried to murder Steve Matsuda. Judge Marie Milks denied the request.

Day 8

May 26: Psychologist Marvin Acklin, who evaluated Uyesugi in 1993, testified he diagnosed Uyesugi as a "classic case" of delusion disorder. Uyesugi did not think he was ill and did not believe he needed treatment, Acklin said.

Day 9

May 30: Two psychiatrists hired by the defense, nationally known Park Dietz and Daryl Matthews of Honolulu, both said Uyesugi was suffering from delusion disorder that prevented him from knowing the multiple killings were wrong.

The Rev. David Kaupu, Kamehameha Schools chaplain, said Uyesugi's family reported Uyesugi was plagued by poking and hired him to bless their Nuuanu home.

Day 10

May 31: Honolulu psychiatrist Robert Marvit testified that Uyesugi was legally insane and also suffered from extreme mental or emotional distress, a factor that would allow reduction of the murder charge to manslaughter.

Honolulu psychologist Harold Hall said Uyesugi was not insane and showed almost no remorse. Uyesugi declined to testify.

Day 11

June 1: The prosecution's last witness, New York psychiatrist Michael Welner, said Uyesugi suffered from schizophrenia but was not insane when he committed the multiple killings.

Day 12

June 2: Judge Marie Milks gave jurors their instructions before recessing the trial while she took a scheduled leave the following week.

Day 13

June 13: Trial resumed with prosecution and defense presenting their final arguments in the morning.

After lunch, jurors reached a guilty verdict on first-degree murder and second-degree attempted murder charges within an hour and 20 minutes.

Opening Arguments from May 15, 2000
Xerox killings - Nov. 2, 1999

By George F. Lee, Star-Bulletin
Byran Uyesugi is brought to the receiving desk at the
Honolulu Police Department after being
arrested on Nov. 2, 1999.

Tragedy unfolds

Events leading up to the Xerox Hawaii shootings and the multiple-murder conviction of Byran Uyesugi:

Bullet 1984: Uyesugi begins working for Xerox.

Bullet 1988: Uyesugi's mother dies, which is when the defense said Uyesugi's delusions began.

Bullet 1992: Uyesugi says he starts seeing a black shadow and feels someone poking his head and body. Earliest documentation by Xerox about his delusions about some co-workers.

Bullet 1993: Uyesugi arrested for kicking in an elevator door. Xerox convenes a crisis response team that gives him an ultimatum to seek treatment or be fired. He is admitted to Castle Hospital for a week and found appropriate for outpatient therapy by three doctors who also find he is not a danger to his co-workers at the workplace. He signs an agreement to abide by all Xerox workplace policies before he can return to work.

Bullet 1994: Uyesugi applies for a gun permit, but the application expires after fails to return with a doctor's note after he indicated that he had some mental problems. Before 1993, he had been granted numerous permits to own a variety of firearms.

Bullet 1995: Uyesugi reportedly threatens to shoot co-workers if he is fired.

Bullet Nov. 1, 1999: Xerox supervisor Mel Lee tells Uyesugi he will be trained on the new 5100 series copy machine after a team meeting on Nov. 2.

Bullet Nov. 2, 1999: Uyesugi goes to work, shoots and kills seven co-workers and attempts to shoot an eighth man. After a standoff, he surrenders to police.

Bullet Nov. 3, 1999: Xerox fires Uyesugi.

Bullet Nov. 5, 1999: Uyesugi pleads not guilty in his first court appearance.

Bullet Nov. 7, 1999: Services are held for Melvin Lee.

Bullet Nov. 9, 1999: Uyesugi is indicted on one charge of first-degree murder, eight counts of second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder.

Bullet Nov. 10, 1999: Services are held for Peter Mark.

Bullet Nov. 11, 1999: Services are held for Jason Balatico.

Bullet Nov. 13, 1999: Services are held for Ron Kataoka.

Bullet Nov. 14, 1999: Services are held for Ford Kanehira.

Bullet Nov. 15, 1999: Uyesugi pleads not guilty in Circuit Court to murder charges and is held without bail.

Bullet Nov. 19, 1999: Services are held for Ron Kawamae.

Bullet Nov. 20, 1999: A memorial service is held for the last victim, John Sakamoto.

Bullet Nov. 22, 1999: A community service is held for all seven Xerox shooting victims.

Bullet Nov. 24, 1999: A May 15 court date is set for Uyesugi's trial.

Bullet Dec. 10, 1999: A three-doctor panel is appointed to examine Uyesugi for fitness to go to trial and state of mind at the time of the shootings.

Bullet Feb. 2, 2000: The court, based on the opinions of three mental health experts, finds Uyesugi is fit to stand trial. Circuit Judge Michael Town orders parts of the doctors' reports -- historically open records -- to be sealed.

Bullet Feb. 5, 2000: Defense formally notifies the court that it intends to raise insanity defense.

Bullet March 9, 2000: Judge Marie Milks denies a defense request to dismiss the murder indictment.

Bullet April 24, 2000: Jury selection begins.

Bullet May 15, 2000: Opening statements in the trial.

Bullet May 25, 2000: The prosecution rests its case.

Bullet May 31, 2000: The defense rests without Uyesugi taking the stand.

Bullet June 1, 2000: The prosecution finishes its rebuttal. Defense declines to call rebuttal witnesses.

Bullet June 14, 2000: Jury begins deliberating around 1:30 p.m. and notifies court staff at 2:45 they have reached verdict. Uyesugi is convicted of first-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder.

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