Trial opens for man accused of execution-style slaying in Kaneohe

Jerrico Lindsey
Jerrico Lindsey
Deputy Prosecutor Darrell Wong
Deputy Prosecutor Darrell Wong

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Trial got underway Monday for a man accused of an execution-style slaying in Windward Oahu. The victim was shot dead in front of horrified witnesses on Kaneohe Bay Drive two years ago.

Prosecutors admit they don't have all the answers or pieces of the puzzle, but say there's enough evidence to convict Jerrico Lindsey. But the defense tells the jury Lindsey's friend, William Freeman, was the trigger man.

Prosecutors say the action on Kaneohe Bay Drive the night of May 14, 2007 was like something out of a movie.

"It sounded like a war zone, 50 shots or more, fireworks, looked like fireworks flying all over the ground," Darrell Wong, deputy prosecutor, said.

Jerrico Lindsey is on trial for murder, terroristic threatening, robbery, burglary and firearms offenses.

Prosecutors say he, his friend William Freeman, and a third man grabbed Benjamin Grajeda, a drug dealer, from his Kaneohe home and shoved him into the trunk of their car, but he managed to escape. A motorist on Kaneohe Bay Drive told police Lindsey was the one who ran after the victim and opened fire.

An autopsy found the Grajeda, 27, suffered 16 gunshot wounds.

"(He) raised his hands towards the shooter as if he believed that his hands could protect him as a shield from that barrage of gunfire," Wong said.

The defense says several other people saw the night-time shooting, but couldn't identify the gunman. Lindsey's attorney William Harrison says Freeman told a homicide detective that he shot Grajeda, but was only charged with kidnapping and hindering prosecution.

"If Freeman didn't shoot him, why would he say that?" Harrison said.

Prosecutors say they have enough -- including DNA evidence, gunshot residue and a motive -- to get a conviction. The defense disagrees.

"There's no direct and objective evidence," Harrison said.

The trial continues Tuesday.