Honolulu highway rampage trial nears conclusion


By JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER

Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) — A pastor’s son accused of going on a Honolulu highway shooting rampage and killing a mother of 10 will not be testifying in his defense.

Toby Stangel stood in court Monday as the judge informed him of his rights to testify or remain silent. He replied “yes” when asked if he chooses not to take the stand.

After the prosecution rested its case, defense attorney John Schum said he wouldn’t be presenting any evidence. Jurors received instructions Tuesday morning and were expected to hear closing arguments in the afternoon. They will then begin deliberating.

Stangel is charged with murder, attempted murder and other crimes, including drug counts. Prosecutors say he killed a woman, injured two motorists and shot at two police officers during the early morning shooting spree in June 2011.

Prosecution witnesses included a daughter of the woman who died and the man and woman who were shot while driving on the H-1 freeway. Cindy Nguyen, 18, said she was in the passenger’s seat of the family’s minivan when her mother, Tammy Nguyen, was shot in the head at an intersection.

Amie Lou Asuncion recalled running across the freeway after being shot in the back while driving, and then hiding in some plants because she feared the shooter was following her. Samson Naupoto testified that he was driving along the freeway when he saw Asuncion running across the lanes. He said he was shot in his right thigh.

Schum said in his opening statement that he doesn’t dispute his client committed the shootings. But the defense attorney said the prosecution needs to prove intent to convict him of murder or attempted murder.

Schum and Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Dwight Nadamoto stipulated Monday that Tammy Nguyen died from a gunshot wound while in the driver’s seat of her minivan.

 

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