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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, March 30, 2006

More federal charges in golf course killings

Advertiser Staff

Three men charged in the double murder at the Pali Golf Course in 2004 face new federal charges that they were members or associates of a criminal organization that engaged in gambling, robbery, extortion, murder and attempted murder.

Conviction could result in a life sentence or the potential of the death penalty.

Rodney Joseph Jr., 38; Ethan Motta, 37; and Kevin Gonsalves, 35, were indicted by a federal grand jury yesterday on charges classified as violent crime in aid of racketeering.

In connection with the killings, the three have been charged in state courts with murder and attempted murder counts that carry a mandatory life term in prison without possibility of parole. The state does not have the death penalty.

They are accused of the brazen early-afternoon shooting on Jan. 7, 2004, that left Lepo Utu Taliese and Romilius Corpuz dead and a third man wounded with a shot to the head.

Their trial is pending in state courts.

Joseph and Gonsalves were first indicted by a federal grand jury on Feb. 15 on charges of running an organized crime and gambling operation.

Yesterday, the two and Motta were charged in a superseding indictment with the additional allegations that included murder and attempted murder.