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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, November 2, 2001

Accused killer's mind went blank after bedroom scene, judge told

By David Waite
Advertiser Staff Writer

The shooting death of a 27-year-old man in Nanakuli in August 1999 amounted to an execution-type slaying after an enraged O'ahu man found his former girlfriend in bed with another man, city Deputy Prosecutor Franklin Pacarro Jr. told a Circuit Court jury yesterday.

Tyrone Galdones went on trial yesterday in the shooting death of James Zoucha.

Eugene Tanner • The Honolulu Advertiser

Tyrone Galdones, 31, is on trial for second-degree murder in the death of James Zoucha, who was shot twice in the head as he slept next to his new girlfriend, Tammy Aiwohi, at a house on Hakimo Road.

In his opening statement before acting Circuit Judge Gerald Kibe, Pacarro said evidence in the case will show that Galdones borrowed a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun from a friend earlier in the evening and then used it to kill Zoucha.

Pacarro said the gun disappeared after Zoucha's death but reappeared during the search of a private residence last year. Tests showed that a bullet recovered from the death scene came from the same gun lent the night of the shooting to Galdones by Bobby Tappen, who was a security guard at Westgate Shopping Center in Waipahu at the time, Pacarro said.

He said Aiwohi, her mother and Galdones' friend Prince Tanele will all place Galdones at the scene the night Zoucha was killed.

Deputy Public Defender Mary Helen Wong acknowledged that Galdones shot Zoucha, but said his mind had gone blank after finding Aiwohi in bed with another man.

And while Galdones borrowed the handgun, it was because he had visited a cousin in Waipahu earlier in the day and had an encounter with at least two youth gang members. Galdones got the impression there would be a drive-by shooting or gang fight at the cousin's house later that day, Wong said.

Galdones spent the hours leading to the shooting drinking beer with Tanele and then decided to visit the 10-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son he fathered by Aiwohi, whom he considered his common-law wife, Wong said.