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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, December 13, 2001

Suspect said teen stole gun that killed him

By David Waite
Advertiser Courts Writer

A 17-year-old boy who was fatally shot in a Waipio Acres apartment reportedly stole the gun that was used to kill him, according to testimony at a court hearing yesterday.

Police Detective Michael Tsuda said he questioned suspect Jared Lee Williams, 20, about the Dec. 5 shooting death of Williams' friend, 17-year-old Robert Rhoda Jr. Tsuda told the court that Williams said Rhoda stole the gun while burglarizing a ground-floor apartment in the Waikalani Woodlands complex on Nov. 29.

Halawa prison corrections officer Wallace Brown testified at the hearing that a semiautomatic handgun was one of the items taken when his Waikalani apartment was burglarized Nov. 29.

Detective Tsuda said Williams told him that Rhoda gave him the gun in exchange for "money and drugs."

Vincent Oliveira, who testified at the hearing, said that he went to Williams' apartment at about 3:30 p.m. Dec. 5 and that Williams showed him the gun.

Oliveira said Rhoda and another youth arrived about 4 p.m. and began playing cards. He said Williams, Rhoda and the other youth were drinking beer and smoking marijuana.

Oliveira said he was watching television when he heard a single shot about 15 minutes later and saw that Rhoda had been shot in the chest. He said Williams had brandished the handgun when the boys began the card game and had joked that they had better not cheat. But Oliveira said he did not actually see Williams shoot Rhoda.

According to Oliveira, Williams instructed the others to tell police that Rhoda had been hit by a stray bullet while riding in a truck near Wheeler Army Airfield.

Police have said they received a call just after 4 p.m. on Dec. 5 saying that a shooting occurred on Kamehameha Highway and that the victim was taken to the apartment. When they arrived they found Rhoda wounded.

District Judge Russel Nagata ruled that there was enough evidence to turn Williams over to Circuit Court to be tried on man-slaughter, theft, burglary, drug and firearm charges.