Woman accused of murder tries to convince jury her ex-boyfriend is guilty

(image: Hawaii News Now)
(image: Hawaii News Now)

WAHIAWA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - In court on Thursday, Angelita Rasa admitted to ambushing William "Bill" Aki in his Whitmore Village home back in 2015.

But said she didn't kill him.

"This is not the gun that you used when you went into William Aki's house to murder him, to shoot him twice," defense attorney Randall Hironaka asked Rasa in court on Thursday.

"I'm sorry, I did not shoot him twice, I shot him once," Rasa replied.

Rasa, who is now 28 years old, denied having a romantic relationship with the 65-year-old but said he was supporting her financially. Aki kicked her out of his home when he found of she was in a relationship with another man.

Rasa said it was her then-boyfriend, Shaun Branco-Taguchi, who finished him off.

"You're asking our jury to believe you and say that's the truth," Hironaka said.

"I'm not asking them to believe me. It's up to them to believe me. All I'm doing is taking responsibility and telling the truth," said Rasa.

Branco-Taguchi and his cousin, Shane Rodrigues, are both on trial for Aki's murder.

Aki's BMW sports car was found burning outside of Makua Cave.

Initially, Rasa said she lied to detectives about her involvement with the murder.

She was still charged with murder.

Rasa later took a plea deal, admitting guilt to robbery, taking a 20-year-old prison term. In return, testifying for the state against the others.

"You didn't do anything of the bad stuff right, it was Shaun?" asked Hironaka.

"Yeah, I was lying at first," said Rasa.

"So you would agree with me that you're throwing him under the bus to help save yourself?" Hironaka said.

"I guess," said Rasa.

"You're still doing that, Ms. Rasa," said Hironaka in his cross examination.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Scott Spallina had a chance to question his witness again.

"What changed from you trying to get away with it to you making your last statement?" Spallina asked.

"What changed was the way I think and the way I feel. One ,I was sober for how long and I didn't like how I was feeling. The guilt was just eating me up," said Rasa.

Trial will resume Friday morning.

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