Trial resumes today in the case of Joel "Keoni" Brunson, who was charged with murder in the death of 18-year-old Robert Rodemio.
On Wednesday, a prosecution witness told Circuit Court that he was just 2 feet away from Brunson when Brunson began firing a gun at Rodemio last May outside a birthday party in Ewa Villages.
Anthony Quisagan, 18, said he had known Brunson for about five years when the shooting took place and that he selected Brunsons image from a photo lineup given to him by detectives just days after the shooting.
When asked by Deputy Prosecutor Franklin Pacarro Jr. how sure he was that he had chosen the correct photograph of the gunman, Quisagan replied simply: "Sure."
Brunson, 18, is being tried on charges of second-degree murder, terroristic threatening and firearms violations in connection with the death of Rodemio .
Brunsons lawyer, Myles Breiner, objected repeatedly throughout Quisagans testimony that Pacarro was reading statements from a May 26, 2000, interview between Quisagan and two Honolulu police detectives.
The statements Quisagan gave to the two detectives, and his testimony at a preliminary hearing last July that implicated Brunson in the shooting, differ substantially from what Quisagan now says is the truth about what he saw the night Rodemio was shot, Breiner said.
For example, Quisagan first told police, and so testified at the preliminary hearing, that he sat next to Rodemio in a carport of the home where the party was held the night of the shooting, that he watched as Brunson shot him, that he saw Rodemios body twist and jerk and fall to the ground after the shooting, and that he saw Brunson flee.
But during his testimony Wednesday, Quisagan said that he never saw Rodemio before the shooting, that he saw Rodemios body lying on the ground only after the shooting stopped, and that Brunson simply vanished after the shooting and that he did not see him running away.
During a discussion with Judge Michael Town without the jury present, Pacarro said he believes that Quisagan was threatened or intimidated after the preliminary hearing last July in hopes he would not testify against Brunson and thats why his present version of the events is different.
But Breiner argued strenuously that there is no evidence to suggest Brunson had anything to do with attempts to intimidate Quisagan, if there were any, and told Town that he might ask that Quisagans testimony be stricken altogether once he finishes his cross-examination of Quisagan.