Jury begins deliberations in cold case murder trial

Darnell Griffin
Darnell Griffin

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - The fate of a man suspected of raping and strangling a young woman, and leaving her on the side of an Oahu freeway, is now in the hands of a jury.

The defense rested its case without the accused murderer, Darnell Griffin, taking the witness stand. Jurors heard closing arguments Friday.

Ten years ago, Evelyn Luka went to Venus Nite Club and was seen leaving with a man. She was later found battered and unconscious along the H-2 Freeway in Waipio.

Prosecutors say DNA evidence points to Griffin, who was convicted of killing another woman in 1980.

But the defense says Griffin and Luka had consensual sex two days before she was found by the freeway, and that police failed to conduct a thorough investigation.