HONOLULU (KHNL) - Trial began Tuesday for a young man accused of fatally beating a Good Samaritan in Waikiki.
Charged with murder, Kelii Acasia listens as prosecutors accuse him of a violent, unprovoked attack.
"Without any notice, poom, poom, poom. The defendant punches Ned Nakoa," Charlene Ikeda, deputy prosecutor, said.
Ikeda says it all started when the defendant's friend, Ben Pada, tried to steal a purse from a woman in Waikiki, but the woman's boyfriend chased him down.
Nearby, Ned Nakoa, 58, had just asked a man for a light for his cigarette.
"I told him, oh, yeah, here, gave him the light," Marcus Perry, prosecution witness, said. "I gave him the light. He wen turn around to me and he told me God bless you. I said, oh, God bless you, too, brah."
Perry says Nakoa then saw the battle over the purse, went over to Acasia, and tried to calm the situation.
"We had one full moon that night and he told him, oh, look how beautiful the night, nuff fighting," Perry said. "And all I remember is poom, poom."
He says the defendant attacked the older man, whom he describes as soft-spoken and fragile.
"The boy wen square him off and just whack him couple times in the head," Perry testified. "And on his way down, he wen finish him off with a kick."
The defense says that's not the way it happened.
"It's an urban legend," Keith Shigetomi, defense attorney, said. "Like any myth or urban legend, there's some truth to it. But it's real purpose is to excite."
Shigetomi says his client delivered a single punch after Nakoa hit Acasia's pregnant girlfriend. He says the victim's blood alcohol level was two-and-a-half times the legal driving limit.
"Kelii Acasia had to protect himself and his girlfriend from a drunk," he said.