Suspect says he was
not near scene of killing

Anibal Ortiz is on trial for the
2002 shooting death of Odin Ortiz

A former New York man on trial for murder says he was not anywhere near the Ala Wai baseball field when another man was fatally shot in December.

Anibal Ortiz, 26, went on trial yesterday in Circuit Court for second-degree murder and two firearms offenses in the death of 37-year-old Odin Ortiz (no relation).

During opening statements yesterday, Deputy Public Defender Jerry Villanueva said Anibal Ortiz was about a mile away at a friend's house, where he was staying at the time, and that he is being set up for the murder.

According to Deputy Prosecutor Franklin Pacarro Jr., Anibal Ortiz and Odin Ortiz were at the baseball field bleachers about 1:30 a.m. Dec. 28 and spoke briefly with two other homeless men who planned on sleeping there.

Jonah Sebedong and Don Iiga are expected to testify that as they were preparing to go to sleep, they heard a loud bang and saw Odin Ortiz fall. Odin Ortiz had been standing just above Anibal Ortiz on the bleachers. No one else but Anibal Ortiz was nearby, Pacarro said.

Sebedong and Iiga are expected to testify that Anibal Ortiz told them not to say anything and to leave, according to Pacarro. They last saw Ortiz walking toward Kapiolani Boulevard near Date Street.

After the shooting, Anibal Ortiz went to his friend's house, where he and his girlfriend, Lindsey Muschek, were staying, Pacarro said. His girlfriend and friend are expected to testify that they saw Ortiz cleaning his gun later that day.

Ortiz was arrested the next day at Ulehawa Beach Park in Nanakuli, where he and Muschek slept the night before.

A search of a backpack and fanny pack located at the beach park uncovered a handgun that was later identified as the weapon used to kill Odin Ortiz, Pacarro said. The bullet fragments recovered from Ortiz, who had been shot in the left eye, also matched the handgun, he said.

Muschek is expected to testify that her boyfriend admitted to her that he had shot Odin Ortiz at the Ala Wai baseball field and later asked her to cover up for him.

Villanueva said the evidence will not show that the handgun seized was the one used to kill Ortiz and that Anibal Ortiz never possessed a handgun. Ortiz also denies telling his girlfriend that he shot Odin Ortiz or that he had a gun, Villanueva said.

If convicted of second-degree murder, Anibal Ortiz faces life with the possibility of parole.


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