Alleged killer pleads not guilty
|Mau-Goffredo court hearing photos|
By Ken Kobayashi
Advertiser Courts Writer
By Ken Kobayashi
The mother of Adam Mau-Goffredo watched her son plead not guilty to triple murder charges yesterday, then left the courthouse with her two daughters, declining to comment.
Her lawyer said Lynnette L.L. Mau loves her son and she "tried her best" in dealing with his mental problems.
"She brought him into the world," her attorney, Howard Luke, said when asked if she feels responsible for the crimes her son is accused of committing.
"She is like every other mother," Luke said. "She loves her son quite a bit."
The arraignment sets up the criminal trial for Mau-Goffredo as lawyers for the relatives of the three slaying victims consider preparing lawsuits over the deaths.
As is customary for defendants, Mau-Goffredo, 23, did not say anything at his arraignment yesterday.
He was dressed in his prison jumpsuit and shackled at his wrists and ankles, at times glancing upward, tapping his feet and twiddling his thumbs. He clenched his jaw and moved his lips in apparent whispers at least once.
His lawyer, Brook Hart, entered the not-guilty plea on his client's behalf.
Circuit Judge Derrick Chan scheduled Mau-Goffredo's trial for the week of Sept. 18 before Circuit Judge Dexter Del Rosario.
The judge also granted City Prosecutor Peter Carlisle's request to continue holding Mau-Goffredo without bail.
Mau-Goffredo was initially held on $25 million bail on first-degree murder and second-degree murder and related charges, but Chan last week approved a temporary no-bail request after Carlisle said it appeared the three victims were shot "execution style" with bullets to their heads.
Hart yesterday did not oppose the no-bail request.
Chan also accepted under seal records from psychiatrist Richard Gibson, who testified during the guardianship hearings that Mau-Goffredo suffers from paranoid schizophrenia. The documents were requested by city prosecutors and will be available only to the court, the prosecution and defense, Chan ruled.
After the hearing, Hart said he did not see the results of tests of a blood sample taken from his client following his arrest, but he said he heard the tests were "negative."
Carlisle would not comment on the tests.
Mau-Goffredo was supposed to be taking medication for his mental problems, according to court files. In addition, his mother accused him of abusing crystal methamphetamine and alcohol and threatening to kill her in a 2002 petition for a restraining order against Mau-Goffredo.
The request was filed by his mother.
Mau-Goffredo is charged with killing taxi driver Manh Nguyen and Jason and Colleen Takamori, a Kapahulu couple, the night of July 6, allegedly using a gun stolen from Mau-Goffredo's caretaker, William R. Carroll Jr., the day of the shooting.
He also is accused of the home invasion robbery of a Round Top Drive home before he was arrested that night.
Mau-Goffredo had been placed under the guardianship of his mother and Carroll by part-time Honolulu District Judge Darryl Choy after he heard Gibson testify about Mau-Goffredo's mental condition.
Under state law, a person who kills another person can be held liable to pay money to the dead person's estate and relatives.
Rick Fried, a prominent Honolulu personal injury lawyer who has been hired by 23-year-old Lianne Takamori, daughter of the couple killed at a Tantalus lookout, yesterday said they are looking into the possibility of suing "people that we believe have some responsibility" for the deaths of the parents.
"Those people at this point are unclear, but certainly it's Mau-Goffredo himself and potentially the co-guardians," the mother and Carroll.
The mother and Mau-Goffredo's sisters, Poerava and Daya, would not comment outside of court.
Luke said he had guessed that the lawyers were reviewing whether there's any liability, but he would not comment on whether the guardianship means his client is liable.
"I myself am taking measures to ensure that her interests are represented adequately by counsel," he said.
Mau is the daughter of Waikiki developer William K.H. Mau.
Carroll's lawyer, Keith Kiuchi, would not comment, except to say that "according to the indictment, the gun was stolen from Mr. Carroll."
Fried said they believe the guardianship "puts some additional responsibility" on the mother and caretaker.
In addition, the gun Mau-Goffredo allegedly used in the shooting was owned by Carroll, which Fried said "adds to his exposure."
The lawsuit would be filed "sooner than later," he said.
Fried said he and Richard Pafundi, lawyer for the Nguyen family, will be sharing information.
Pafundi yesterday confirmed that arrangement, but said it would be premature to comment further on the matter.
"We're still in the investigative stage and a lot of work has to be done," he said.
Luke said he learned from news reports that relatives of the victims had retained lawyers.
"Ms. Mau is pretty much sitting tight," he said.
He said she was devastated by the charges against her son.
"She has tried everything in her power to address some of the mental-health issues that he was confronted with, and devoted a great deal of energy and resources to his mental state," he said.
Luke said even though the son is in custody at O'ahu Community Correctional Center, Mau tries to "give him as much support as she can as a mother."Advertiser staff writer Peter Boylan contributed to this report.
Reach Ken Kobayashi at firstname.lastname@example.org.