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The Honolulu Advertiser

Updated at 12:10 p.m., Monday, April 2, 2007

Accused killer says nothing in court appearance today

Advertiser Staff

A 48-year-old man made his initial court appearance this morning on a charge that he allegedly strangled a 20-year-old woman to death in 1999.

Darnell Griffin, dressed in a brown prison-issue jumpsuit, did not speak or enter a plea during the hearing. His preliminary hearing is set for Wednesday at 1:30 p.m.

On Thursday, police arrested Griffin in connection with the death of Evelyn Luka. She was found in a coma on a grassy area near the H-2 Freeway's Ka Uka Boulevard off-ramp in Waipi'o on Sept. 6, 1999. She died in a hospital on Oct. 2, 1999.

Griffin was charged Friday with a single count of murder in the second degree. He also was charged with sexual assault in the first degree. He is in custody in lieu of $5 million bail.

Griffin previously was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole in 1983. An O'ahu jury convicted him in the rape and strangulation murder of a 26-year-old X-ray technician in her Liholiho Street apartment on Oct. 11, 1980.

Griffin was paroled March 5, 1996.