HILO >> A neighbor of a Big Island man accused of murdering his wife said yesterday that the suspect appeared despondent and anguished the night of the killing.
Neighbor recalls murder
suspect seemed sullen
A Big Isle man faces trial in the
bludgeoning death of his wife
By Jessica Ferracane
Special to the Star-Bulletin
"He asked me to borrow a gun. He said he wanted to kill himself," said Bob Williams during a preliminary hearing for 38-year-old Warlito "Lito" Gorospe.
Following the hearing, District Judge Sandra Schutte ruled there is enough evidence to try Gorospe for second-degree murder in the death of 27-year-old Gloria Mayos Gorospe.
Police found the bludgeoned body of Gloria Gorospe lying in a pool of blood at a Pepeekeo estate guest house on July 30, after receiving a phone call that the couple "had an argument."
The caller, Lito Gorospe's sister, Merlene Hariguchi of Hilo, testified that she called police at the instruction of her brother, who had arrived at her home with the couple's 4-year-old daughter sometime after 8 p.m.
"He told me to take Amber with you and call police. He told me to call police because he and his wife went to argument," Hariguchi told the court, with help from an interpreter.
Three Hawaii County police officers arrived at Hariguchi's home, where Gorospe waited quietly outside.
Officer Terrance Johnasen said he asked Gorospe if his wife was at home.
"He said he couldn't remember, that he had blacked out," Johnasen testified.
Gorospe agreed to show the officers to the guest house where his family lived on an estate owned by art dealers Howard and Mary Ann Rogers.
Gorospe worked for the Rogerses as head grounds-keeper; his wife as a housekeeper. Johnasen said he and another officer searched Gorospe for weapons, found none, but noticed patches of dried blood on his surf trunks.
When they arrived at the house, officers found the body of Gloria Gorospe, her jaw smashed and face badly beaten.
An autopsy established the cause of death as severe injury to the brain caused by blunt force trauma.
A murder weapon has not been found.
Gorospe will appear in Circuit Court on Aug. 21 for further proceedings.
He is being held without bail at the Hawaii Community Correctional Facility.
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