Judge orders trial in Waipahu slaying
By David Waite
Advertiser Courts Writer
A 28-year-old O'ahu woman accused of the Aug. 21 shooting death of a man near Waipahu High School was ordered yesterday to stand trial in Circuit Court on charges of second-degree murder and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
District Judge Rhonda Nishimura found there was enough evidence to believe that Totie Tauala shot Hayward Julio as he sat in his car on Waipi'o Point Access Road across from Waipahu High School.
Larry Tamashiro, a Honolulu Police Department detective, said Tauala confessed last Friday to shooting Julio. Tamashiro said Tauala told him that Julio held a knife to her neck while stealing jewelry, money and drugs from her at a friend's house in Waipahu.
Later, Julio got in his car and left, and Tauala followed in her car and pulled over when Julio motioned to her to do so near the high school, Tamashiro said.
He said that Tauala told him she shot Julio after he began making sexual advances toward her, and that she later tossed the gun under a manhole cover in the Salt Lake area.
Joann Hamaji, a police evidence technician, said she recovered a .22-caliber semiautomatic handgun from the manhole on Sunday.
City Deputy Prosecutor Douglas Chin said after the hearing that the weapons charge against Tauala stems from a conviction in 1995 of negligent homicide for driving while drunk and getting into a collision that resulted in the death of a passenger in her car.
Nishimura ordered that Tauala's bail remain at $100,000 and that she be arraigned Sept. 19 in Circuit Court.
Reach David Waite at firstname.lastname@example.org or 525-8030.