HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - An admitted marijuana user provided gripping testimony at a high-profile murder trial Wednesday. The man testified that defendant Joshua Williams had a detailed conversation with him about the slaying of alleged drug dealer Jamil Khan, who vanished in April 2010.
A jury will be tasked with deciding whether Joshua Williams is a cold-blooded killer, or if his actions leading to the death of Jamil Khan, 24, were in self-defense.
Bastian Goelz says his friend, Williams, told him that he and co-defendant Michael Connolly beat the victim with a hammer and then sliced his throat at Williams' Makakilo home, the site of the group's indoor marijuana growing operation.
Williams allegedly told Goelz that "he had taken care of a problem," and that "Jamil was crying, begging, telling them to stop."
Prosecutors say Williams was fed up with the victim, whose body was dismembered and tossed out with the trash, because he wasn't contributing his fair share to the drug operation.
But defense attorneys argue that Williams did what he had to do to save himself and Connolly when Khan, whom they say became radicalized following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, pulled out an AK-47 assault rifle.
Police say Khan had multiple firearms registered to him.
"Yes, he did," Officer Alan Oku, Honolulu Police Department, said.
"How many?" John Schum, defense attorney, asked.
"I believe it was six," the officer replied.
Williams' mother and grandmother listened as his attorneys questioned the credibility of Goelz, who initially told investigators he didn't know what happened to Khan, whose remains were never found.
"I was worried for my family's life," Goelz, the father of two, testified. "What made me change my mind is I knew right from wrong. I want my kids to look up to me."
Connolly, who's set to go to trial in February, has filed a motion to dismiss the charges.