Trial begins for man accused in deadly shooting of ex-girlfriend in Ewa

Royal Kaukani
Royal Kaukani

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Trial began Monday for a man accused of gunning down his ex-girlfriend in the middle of a street in Ewa two years ago. Toi Nofoa is charged with multiple felonies, including the state's most serious offense of first-degree murder.

The March 2009 slaying of Royal Kaukani was classified as first-degree murder because she was a material witness in a pending criminal case against the defendant.

Attorneys delivered their opening statements Monday morning. The defense told jurors there was a "rush to judgment" on the part of police, and that none of the physical evidence links Nofoa to the deadly shooting.

But prosecutors say the defendant got into his ex-girlfriend's black Hummer in the middle of a street in broad daylight, and shot the 25-year-old multiple times in the head at point-blank range.

Gary Matsumura, a paramedic who lives near the crime scene, says he heard popping noises and later rushed out to check on the victim. He says he saw a lot of blood and checked for a pulse, but couldn't find one.

Kaukani was supposed to testify in a prior kidnapping and terroristic threatening case against Nofoa.

The defense told jurors some witnesses described the killer as being much shorter and slimmer. But prosecutors say Nofoa called his brother and confessed to the shooting.

The trial continues Wednesday.

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