Trial began yesterday in Circuit Court for Micah Kanahele, bottom right, Rosalino Ramos, Jason Rumbawa and Anthony Brown. Kanahele, Ramos and Rumbawa are charged with murder, robbery and firearms offenses in a Pearl City man's death, while Brown is charged with first-degree robbery.

Witness recounts
night of friend’s death

Four men go on trial in the 2003
shooting of a Pearl City man

Gabriel Felix was straightening up his carport late on Oct. 26, 2003, and talking story with a friend who was sitting nearby when he heard his friend comment, "It's too early for Halloween," and laugh.

That's when Felix heard a gunshot, followed by perhaps two more. It happened so fast, he can't recall exactly how many.

"I was shocked, I cannot move," Felix said yesterday, recalling the day his friend Greg Morishima, 49, was fatally gunned down as he sat just 10 feet away.

After the first shot, Felix turned and saw three masked people standing in his carport carrying guns. When he looked in their direction again, they were gone.

Trial began yesterday in Circuit Judge Michael Town's courtroom for Micah Kanahele, 24, Rosalino Ramos, 24, and Jason Rumbawa, 25, charged with second-degree murder, first-degree robbery and firearms offenses in Morishima's death. Also on trial is Anthony Brown, 24, who is charged with first-degree robbery.

Defense attorneys said yesterday that none of the defendants were at the murder scene and that Kevin Harris, a fifth defendant and the state's key witness, blamed the others to deflect blame from himself.

At least one defendant, Rumbawa, contends he was at home fixing cars the evening of the shooting before going to Brown's house so both could study for an exam the next day.

According to Deputy Prosecutor Lucianne Khalaf, Morishima had gone to Felix's Pamoho Place home in Aiea with a bag of mangoes and was talking story with Felix when the gunmen appeared out of nowhere and opened fire after he laughed at them. Morishima, also of Aiea, died of a gunshot wound to the abdomen.

A fifth individual, Kevin Harris, who later confessed to accompanying the four others to the home that evening, told police that they were hoping to rip off drugs after attempts at two other homes were unsuccessful. He was arrested Nov. 3, 2003, and told police about the Morishima shooting.

He told police that there was no plan to kill Morishima that night and described the incident as a robbery gone awry, Khalaf said.

Harris was charged with first-degree robbery, but later pleaded to second-degree robbery in exchange for his testimony and cooperation.

Richard Hoke, defense attorney for Kanahele, said Harris gave five separate statements to police and there were inconsistencies in his account of the events. Hoke criticized the police investigation which relied solely on Harris' confession and the investigators' failure to challenge him about the discrepancies.

Kanahele, Ramos and Harris are also awaiting trial in a separate shooting that occurred five days later in the parking lot of Pearl City Longs where one man was killed and another wounded during a botched marijuana sale.

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