Trial starts for man accused of killing Waianae teacher - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Trial starts for man accused of killing Waianae teacher

Tittleman Fauatea Tittleman Fauatea
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

In his opening argument in the murder trial of Tittleman Fauatea, deputy prosecutor Wayne Tashima gave a grisly account of how Asa Yamashita died in February 2009.

"There were six stab wounds to Asa's chest that entered her heart and caused bleeding. There were also injuries to her right and left upper extremities consistent with defensive wounds," he said.

Yamashita, 43, was sitting on a bench at the Ewa Town Center when witness Darin Paiva testified Fauatea attacked her.

"He went go grab her with his left arm," Paiva said. "She was facing him already. And with his right hand he was whacking her with the knife."

Paiva said Yamashita screamed then fell to the ground.

But defense attorney Barry Sooalo told Judge Rom Trader that Fauatea wasn't in his right mind at the time of the attack, and he should be found innocent by reason of insanity.

"We've got a young man who at about age twelve started to exhibit symptoms of mental illness, started getting treatment for mental illness,"he said.

In January a judge ruled Fauatea mentally fit to stand trial.

Yamashita was a mother of two and taught at Waianae High School.  Her husband, Bryan, recounted the emergency call he got from the hospital.

"Asa was suffering from cardiac arrest and to come to the hospital right away," he said during his brief testimony.

Paiva said after the attack, he followed Fauatea and saw him discard the knife. He said Fauatea walked down Fort Weaver Road, asked a man for a cigarette and sat down to smoke. Paiva called 911 and waited for police to get there.

"How close did you get to him?" Tashima asked.

"Pretty close, like ten feet," Paiva answered. "I got real close to him."

Fauatea waived his right to a jury trial. The judge will decide his guilt or innocence.

Copyright 2012 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

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