Attorney cites
insanity in stabbing

A Wahiawa man accused of stabbing his girlfriend to death a year ago was hearing voices and believed people were out to kill him, his attorney said.

Just moments before Samie Raspado Calaro repeatedly stabbed Ruby Mabanag on July 27, 2002, he begged her not to leave him, saying there were evil men outside waiting to kill him if she left, said deputy public defender Karen Nakasone.

Mabanag, 53, a certified nurse's aide, bled to death.

Calaro, 44, went on trial yesterday in Circuit Court, charged with second-degree murder.

The defense is not disputing Calaro stabbed Mabanag, but say he was insane at the time and was acting under an extreme emotional and mental disturbance that may have been caused by use of crystal methamphetamine.

Calaro was crazy before the stabbing, on the day of the stabbing and continues to suffer from a mental defect, Nakasone said.

But prosecutors said experts will testify that Calaro was not so impaired by a mental illness that he could not control himself when he stabbed Mabanag repeatedly, allegedly with at least three different knives.

Calaro had no documented history of mental illness and never sought mental health counseling or took medication for it, said Deputy Prosecutor Scott Bell.

Mabanag had previously confided to a close friend that Calaro physically abused her and had threatened to kill her with a knife, Bell said. Mabanag had told the friend she wanted to end the relationship but was afraid of Calaro.

But Nakasone said a court-appointed psychiatrist and psychologist who later examined Calaro concluded he was clearly psychotic, she said.

They said he was experiencing hallucinations and delusions and that his mental disease could be the result of his crystal methamphetamine use. Calaro had stopped using "ice" months before the stabbing and was not on "ice" that day, but he was still crazy, Nakasone said.

A month before the stabbing, police were called to Mabanag's Eames Street studio because family members observed Calaro holding her with one hand and a knife in the other. Calaro apparently was telling her not to go outside and tried to make her go back inside the apartment, Nakasone said.

Police arrived to find Calaro holed up in the bedroom with knives and had to persuade him to come out, Nakasone said.

And two days before the stabbing, Calaro and Mabanag went to the Philippine Consulate to report that Calaro was being threatened. Although Calaro looked and acted normal, the consulate employee thought his claims were so bizarre that he called police to document Calaro's complaint, she said.

Calaro told the officer that someone was following him and that his wife and girlfriend were trying to kill him, Nakasone said.

If convicted as charged, Calaro faces life imprisonment with the possibility of parole. If acquitted by reason of insanity and found to be a danger to the community, he likely will be committed to the Hawaii State Hospital.


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