Kalihi murder suspect's lawyer says evidence 'tampered with'

Donald Wilkerson
Donald Wilkerson
Veronica Sedeno
Veronica Sedeno

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - The lawyer for a man suspected in the high-profile killing of a young woman in Kalihi says he believes evidence in the case has been tampered with. The attorney made that statement after his client appeared before an Oahu judge Tuesday.

With additional sheriffs on hand to provide security, a fully-shackled accused murderer makes his initial court appearance. Corbit Ahn looks straight ahead, as his attorney tries to get his $2 million bail reduced.

"$2 million is excessive, especially in a case like this," Donald Wilkerson, defense attorney, said. "I believe that $2 million is out of the ordinary. There's been no showing that anything about this case is out of the ordinary."

But it is a case that has gripped the community.

Ahn is accused of strangling Iris Rodrigues-Kaikana, 18, and leaving her nude body in an alley along the Kamehameha Homes housing project two weeks ago. Police arrested the 29-year-old at his Makiki apartment Friday night.

"Bail is confirmed," the judge said as she denied the defense's request.

Investigators say DNA evidence taken from the victim's body matches Ahn's DNA profile.

"We have evidence that indicates evidence has been tampered with in this case. There appears to be significant problems with the new HPD crime lab," Wilkerson said. "I can't get into any details right now, but I can address it later."

HPD declines comment.

Family members continue to mourn the 2008 McKinley High graduate's death. Veronica Sedeno is crushed that she didn't get the chance to meet her cousin.

"I never got to meet that side of my family 'cause only like now I'm meeting everybody," Sedeno said through tears. "And like I don't know, I never got to see what a good person she was."

A preliminary hearing will be held Thursday, unless a grand jury indicts Ahn before then.