Accused murderer admits
assault as trial starts

The Nuuanu Stream killing in
April 2004 was done deliberately,
says the prosecutor

Faitele Faitele Jr. beat and left a man to drown in Nuuanu Stream because he falsely thought the victim got him kicked out of a shelter, his attorney said yesterday.

Faitele believed that it was Reuben Kimura who had told Institute for Human Services officials that Faitele smoked marijuana, apparently resulting in his ouster, said deputy public defender Walter Rodby in the opening of Faitele's trial in Circuit Court for second-degree murder.

"He later found out he may have been wrong and realized his mistake," Rodby said.

Rodby, who asked that Faitele be convicted of a lesser offense, said Faitele does not dispute assaulting Kimura in April 2004. But Faitele believed Kimura was dead, and panicked when he saw blood pouring out of the man's head and ears after he was pulled out of the stream, Rodby said.

Faitele Faitele Jr., known to transients in the Aala Park area as "Bow Wow," went on trial yesterday before Circuit Judge Richard Perkins.

The Honolulu medical examiner ruled that Kimura, 25, died from drowning after suffering massive head injuries.

"The facts will show that the defendant acted in deliberate indifference to human life," a state of mind that supports a conviction for second-degree murder, said Deputy Prosecutor Darrell Wong.

One of at least three men who know Faitele and witnessed the beating allegedly described Kimura as a "human yo-yo" by the way Faitele was punching him to the ground, picking and setting him back up and kicking him in the chest and head "football style" several times, Wong said.

The men persuaded Faitele to stop, but as they walked away, they heard a splash and turned back to find Faitele leaning over the side of the canal and Kimura in the water.

The rock wall into the stream was a steep 8- to 10-foot drop into the stream bed, and the three had difficulty pulling Kimura out. Faitele, who agreed to go into the water and hand Kimura over to the others, became angry that the injured man was unable to lift his arms toward the others above and began dunking his head into the water and slamming him against the rock wall, Wong said.

They eventually pulled Kimura out and left him lying on the rock wall with Faitele. The friends later heard another splash but could not see anything.

About 10 to 15 minutes later, Faitele walked into Chinatown, wearing a different set of clothes and smiling, Wong said. When Faitele approached them and was asked what happened, he broke down and said, "I think the kid died. I threw him in the water."

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