Jury considers
Awana case

Deliberation will go on today
over the Manoa killing

A Circuit Court jury will continue deliberating today the case of Gregory Awana, accused of shooting a drug business associate to death.


Gregory Awana: He could get life in prison with parole if convicted of murder

Awana, 38, a former deputy sheriff and investigator for the Medical Examiner's Office, is charged with second-degree murder in the Aug. 28, 2003, death of Yorck Woita, 28. Jurors began deliberating yesterday afternoon.

Awana claims he accidentally shot Woita three times during a struggle for his life after an enraged Woita pointed a gun at him and threatened to kill him and his family. The confrontation allegedly occurred at a Manoa home where Awana had been operating an indoor marijuana operation.

Woita, a drug dealer, apparently felt he had been ripped off after learning Awana had set up the "grow house" after Awana had agreed two years earlier to go into business with him. Awana told police that he later pulled out of the deal because he felt he could not trust Woita not to tell anyone.

Woita was last seen alive walking into the Oahu Avenue home by friends who had secretly followed them there. Several hours later the Nissan Xterra Woita had driven to the home with Awana was found on fire in a secluded road in Waimanalo.

Awana was caught disposing of garbage bags and boxes of marijuana at the Kapaa Transfer Station two days later. Police had observed Awana and his wife earlier loading the bags and boxes into a truck at the Manoa home. Besides trash, the bags were later found to contain marijuana and bloody towels.

Awana later confessed to police, saying he panicked after shooting Woita, so he drove Woita's car to Waimanalo and torched it. He said he got rid of the body the next day by putting it into a friend's Boston Whaler hitched to a truck and driving to Kaneohe Bay. He claims he took the boat out for an hour out to sea and dumped the body and the gun into the ocean. Woita's body and the gun were never recovered.

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

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