Man charged in Waianae teacher's slaying mentally fit to stand trial

Tittleman Fauatea
Tittleman Fauatea

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Nearly three years after the brutal slaying of a Waianae High School teacher, the man charged in the case is finally heading to trial.

Circuit Judge Richard Perkins on Thursday ruled that Tittleman Fauatea is mentally fit to proceed. Since being charged with murder, the defendant has been examined by mental health experts several times and was previously deemed unfit.

Asa Yamashita, 43, was stabbed repeatedly while she sat on a bench at the Ewa Town Center in February 2009.

The judge ordered that Fauatea remain in the custody of the Hawaii State Hospital pending trial, saying that the last time the defendant was transferred to the Oahu Community Correctional Center, his mental condition worsened.

Trial is tentatively set for March.

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