Trial begins for man charged with execution-style slaying - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Trial begins for man charged with execution-style slaying

Patrick Deguair, Jr. Patrick Deguair, Jr.
Jermaine Duckworth Jermaine Duckworth
Robert McMeechan Robert McMeechan
David Teo David Teo
By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Trial began Wednesday for a man accused of an execution-style slaying at Kaena Point last year. The victim's body was found at the bottom of a cliff with a gunshot wound to the head.

Prosecutors say Patrick Deguair, Jr. murdered the victim because the man ratted him out in another case. But the defense says Deguair was not the person responsible.

Prosecutors tell jurors, in ancient times, Kaena was believed to be a leaping off point for souls departing this world.

The body of Jermaine Duckworth was discovered on the giant rocks below a cliff near Kaena Point in March 2008. Patrick Deguair, Jr. is accused of shooting the 24-year-old and then shoving him off the cliff.

"The gunman put the pistol to the back of his head and depressed the trigger one time," Scott Bell, deputy prosecutor, said.

Prosecutors say Duckworth was killed because he gave police information about a crime that happened four months prior.

Several men donning ski masks and Drug Enforcement Agency T-shirts stormed into a Maili house, and demanded money and other items. Deguair is suspected of being one of them.

"A bullet to the brain was Jermaine Duckworth's payback for cooperating with the police," Bell said.

Robert McMeechan says the intruders came into his home in the middle of the night.

"Did this individual say anything to you?" Bell asked.

"Yes, he said, 'DEA, get on the floor,'" the home invasion victim replied.

"Did you go down?" the prosecutor asked.

"I certainly did," McMeechan replied.

Prosecutors say the gun used in the murder had a silencer.

The defense tells the jury Deguair and Duckworth were roommates around that time.

"If Mr. Deguair had wanted to kill Jermaine Duckworth, he had ample, countless opportunities," Neal Kugiya, defense attorney, said.

The defense says another man, David Teo, was the one who was upset with Duckworth, and that Deguair last saw the victim with him.

"They cross the highway and they start walking up Hakimo Road," Kugiya said. "And that's the last time Patrick sees Jermaine Duckworth."

The defense tells jurors Deguair is not on trial for the home invasion, and that prosecutors are using it to establish a motive for the deadly shooting.

The trial continues Thursday.

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