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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, March 8, 2006

Man guilty of assault in Nu'uanu death

Advertiser Staff

A man originally charged with murdering a Nu'uanu store owner pleaded guilty yesterday to a lesser assault charge.

William Albinio was charged with murdering Edwin Medeiros, a Vietnam veteran who lost his left leg to diabetes and who owned Nu'uanu Liquor & Sundries. Albinio, 39, was charged with shoving the 58-year-old owner, causing him to fall backward and suffer fatal head injuries on Sept. 25, 2004.

At a hearing in 2004, a police detective testified that Albinio said he drank 12 to 18 beers and shoved Medeiros after Medeiros refused to sell him a six-pack. Albinio said he never intended to harm or kill the owner and that he is sorry for what happened, the detective testified.

Deputy Public Defender Debra Loy at the time argued that the evidence did not support the murder charge.

City prosecutors later agreed to drop the murder charge in exchange for a guilty plea to second-degree assault and to terroristic threatening in another case.

Murder carries a mandatory life prison term with parole. Albinio's second-degree assault charge carries a maximum five-year term.

Circuit Judge Steve Alm scheduled sentencing for June 6.