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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, July 21, 2001

Jury finds three guilty in Waipi'o shooting

By Mike Gordon
Advertiser Staff Writer

After deliberating nine days, a Circuit Court jury yesterday found Joseph Poomaihealani III guilty of second-degree murder for the slaying last summer of Bernardino "Dino" Arado in Waipi'o Acres.

Brandon Lizardo, left, and John and Joseph Poomaihealani were found guilty yesterday in the shooting death last summer of Bernardino "Dino" Arado. The three Wai'anae men are scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 5.

Richard Ambo • The Honolulu Advertiser

The prosecution portrayed Arado as a good Samaritan who was gunned down Aug. 12, 2000, when he walked next door to see what a loud commotion was about.

Poomaihealani, 31, of Wai'anae, faces life in prison with the possibility of parole.

Throughout the trial, Poomaihealani claimed that he acted out of instinct when he shot Arado because he thought Arado was going to hit him with a golf club. But city Deputy Prosecutor Chris Van Marter maintained that Arado went to check on a neighbor who was being pistol whipped. Van Marter argued during the trial that Arado was shot to keep him from calling police.

Poomaihealani was found guilty on two other charges, including being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Following the six-week trial, two co-defendants —Poomaihealani's brother John, 19, and Brandon Lizardo, 22 — also were found guilty. John Poomaihealani was convicted on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm, second-degree assault and first-degree terroristic threatening. Brandon Lizardo was found guilty of first-degree assault and first-degree terroristic threatening.

Sentencing for all three is set for Dec. 5.

"This was not self-defense," said Deputy Prosecutor Chris Van Marter said after the verdict was read. "It was a totally uncalled for shooting. No sensible person would have shot Dino Arado."

Outside the courthouse, Ellen Poomaihealani wept for her sons. "You know, for the other family, I feel for them," she said. "But I lost sons, too."

Her husband, Joseph Poomaihealani Jr., said he believed his son's story. "I've got too much hurt, too much hurt. You can't bring him back. I have two sons, but what is the sense of having them if they are going to be incarcerated for the rest of their life? All I can say is, forgive us for what happened to this family."

Advertiser Staff Writer David Waite contributed to this report.