Murder suspect claims self-defense
By Jim Dooley
Advertiser Staff Writer
Accused murderer Joel Allen said he acted in self-defense after the victim in the case struck him, threatened to kill him and demanded $250 from him.
Allen, 65, denied having a pre-existing relationship with the victim, Jason Namauu, a transgendered female who used the names Jaylynn and Lynette Namauu.
Allen allegedly stabbed Namauu to death July 17, 2008, while the pair were in a parked car under a freeway overpass near Cartwright Field in Makiki.
Prosecutors have alleged that Allen killed Namauu in a lover's quarrel.
But Allen testified in his own defense that he had only met Namauu a month earlier and described the victim as a casual acquaintance whom he would occasionally see on the street.
On July 17, Namauu told Allen that she was homeless and needed a place to store her belongings, so Allen offered to keep them temporarily in the trunk of his car, Allen testified.
He said he had been homeless previously, and while living on a limited income, he tried to help homeless individuals when he could.
Allen claimed that after Namauu's belongings were placed in the car, she accompanied him when he drove to the university area to pick up his mail.
Along the way, he said, he detoured to Cartwright Field because he needed to use the restroom and wanted a drink of water.
When he returned to the car, Allen said, "I saw Lynette fidgeting with an ice pipe" in the passenger seat. "I said, 'Is that ice? Is that drugs?' She said 'yes' and she said she wanted $250," Allen testified.
Allen said he couldn't have drugs in his car and had no money and offered to take Namauu back to the Downtown area.
"She said, 'You're not going anywhere till I get my $250,' " Allen said.
Namauu struck Allen on the head, then began clawing, punching and kicking him, saying, "Give me the money or I'll kill you," he claimed.
He said he took out a "small knife" that he kept in the driver's door.
"I held it in front of me and I said, 'Stop. Leave me alone,' " Allen testified.
But Namauu didn't stop and kept attacking him, according to the defendant.
He used his right hand, with the knife in it, to make sweeping motions toward the victim's body to ward off her blows, Allen said.
Under cross examination from Deputy Prosecutor Darrell Wong, Allen denied earlier testimony from witnesses who said they had seen Allen with Namauu in bars and that the two had "a lovey-dovey relationship."
"I don't go to bars, ever," Allen said.
Allen denied being sexually attracted to transgenders or transvestites.