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Jurors begin deliberations in Stangel highway rampage case

  • Defendant Toby Stangel sits at the defense table during during opening statements in his murder trial. (Craig T. Kojima/ckojima@staradvertiser.com)

    Defendant Toby Stangel sits at the defense table during during opening statements in his murder trial. (Craig T. Kojima/ckojima@staradvertiser.com)

There wasn’t enough evidence presented to prove the Wahiawa man accused of going on a deadly Honolulu highway shooting rampage intended to kill, his defense attorney told jurors in his closing argument Tuesday.

Jurors began deliberations this afternoon in the trial against Toby Stangel, charged with murder, attempted murder and other charges in the 2011 shooting spree that left a mother of 10 dead.

"I ask you to consider the evidence," defense attorney John Schum said. "Consider the evidence of state of mind. Why did any of this happen?" He said there was no evidence presented about a motive behind the shootings, and he suggested that Stangel’s actions were reckless instead of intentional.

"If you fire multiple times, you’re trying to kill," Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Dwight Nadamoto said in his closing argument. "He wanted to cause death," he said, describing how Stangel was trying to reload after running out of bullets.

Stangel did not testify during the trial, telling the judge he chose not to take the stand.

During the trial, jurors heard from prosecution witnesses, including a daughter of Tammy Nguyen, who said she watched her mother’s head jerk back when she was shot while in the driver’s seat of the family’s minivan at an intersection. Cindy Nguyen, 18, testified that she feared the shooter would kill her, too.

Other witnesses included the man and woman shot and injured while driving on the H-1 freeway and the two officers who were shot at but not hurt.

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