Wheelchair-bound woman describes being shot in legs, hand and shoulder


By JOHN BURNETT

Tribune-Herald staff writer

A 57-year-old woman shot four times in her Panaewa home on Mother’s Day 2012 testified Wednesday that the 73-year-old man accused of the shooting was angry because she told him she no longer wanted to see him.

June Shirshac, who is confined in a wheelchair, said that Joseph Amormino Sr. drove up to the Auwae Road home unannounced and got out of his pickup truck carrying a pistol at about 5:30 p.m. that evening.

“He said to me ‘you’re not effing leaving me,’” Shirshac said in response to a question by Deputy Prosecutor Mike Kagami. “… And I told him you’re not welcome here.”

Shirshac said that Amormino then grabbed her and pushed her into the house and kept repeating “you’re not effing leaving me.” She said that Amormino, a retired Hawaii Community Correctional Center guard, hit her and pushed her against a wall in the pantry of the home, which is owned by Shirshac’s ex-husband, Francis Makaiwi.

“He started hugging me,” Shirshac said. “I thought he was hugging me to say ‘I love you.’ Then he shot me.”

“Where were you shot?” Kagami inquired.

“I was shot in both legs,” Shirshac said.

She said that Amormino then went through the house, calling for Makaiwi, who had locked himself inside a bathroom in the master bedroom. She said she heard “about five” gunshots.

The door to the master bedroom was damaged but Makaiwi was uninjured.

Shirshac said that she tried, unsuccessfully, to crawl out the back door, and Amormino returned, and “kicked the crap out of me.”

“He kept kicking me and kicking me,” she said. “… He shot me again. He shot my hand and he shot my shoulder, back here.” She then reached for her right shoulder to show the jury where she had been shot.

Shirshac said that she has undergone numerous surgeries, the most recent on Aug. 19.

“I’m always in pain,” she said, and added that she has no feeling from her right shoulder down to her hand.

Shirshac, a greeter at the Hilo Walmart store, said she first met Amormino through her work because he would come into the store with his wife, Patricia. She said that he came into the store alone in April 2011. She asked about his wife was and he told her she had died in December 2010. Amormino, who lived in Hawaiian Beaches, asked her out shortly afterwards and they dated but never lived together.

Under cross examination by Amormino’s attorney, Deputy Public Defender Michael Ebesugawa, Shirshac said that she and Amormino became intimate but she was never in love with him.

“Did you consider him your boyfriend,” Ebesugawa asked.

“No,” she replied. “… I always told Joe I won’t love anyone who beats me up.”

Shirshac admitted that she had more than one credit card paid for by Amormino and that she took trips with him to the mainland, paid for by him, and that he paid expenses she incurred. She said that she also had the key to Amormino’s house, which she at first refused. She said she knew that Amormino had taken out loans during their relationship, including using his truck as collateral for a $15,000 loan to buy a prefabricated home to build on her Hawaiian Homelands lot. She said the money never went for the home.

“That money was spent in a very short time. Isn’t that true?” Ebesugawa inquired.

“Yes.”

“And it was money drawn by Joe and given to you in cash.”

“Some money, yes.”

In response to questions by Ebesugawa, Shirshac said that Amormino proposed to her numerous times and gave her an engagement ring, which she wore, but “it did not mean a thing to me.”

When you put on that ring, it didn’t matter to you that you were outright lying to him, true?” Ebesugawa asked.

“True,” she replied.

“You did say, though, from time to time, that you’d marry him. Isn’t that true?”

“Yes.”

“… Even though you had no intention of marrying him.”

“Yes.”

Ebegusawa has not disputed the state’s claim that his client shot Shirshac, but said there was no intent to kill her. Amormino faces numerous charges including first-degree attempted murder and two counts of second-degree attempted murder. If convicted on the first-degree attempted murder charge, he faces a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. He remains in custody at HCCC, where he once worked, in lieu of $656,000 bail.

Shirshac will continue testimony at 10 a.m. today in the courtroom of Hilo Circuit Judge Glenn Hara.

Email John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitribune- herald.com.

 

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