HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Waipahu man on trial for second-degree murder walked out of Circuit Court on Monday afternoon shortly after a jury found him not guilty. Vito John Talo, 28, was accused of a savage beating that killed a Kalihi man. The case went to the jury late Friday afternoon.
Prosecutors said Talo viciously attacked Damaso Domingo, 54, in January 2009. Domingo was found unconscious on a street corner in Kalihi. His severe injuries left him unrecognizable to his daughter who worked on the team taking care of him at the Queen's Medical Center.
Witnesses helped police create sketches of two suspects. Nearly three years later, a grand jury indicted Talo. After his arrest in December, he had been behind bars at the Oahu Community Correctional Center. As he left the courthouse, he said he was happy and excited to reunite with his family. His cradled his daughter who was just born three weeks ago.
"My life was on the line, that's why. Of course, I was nervous," said Vito John Talo.
"In my heart, I knew he was innocent. Innocent. You look at all the evidence, you look at everything that was placed there. Nothing leads to him at all," said his sister, Monica Talo.
A co-defendant who had already pleaded no contest to misdemeanor assault for his role, testified against Talo in the murder trial.