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Suspect in stabbing near Mayor Wright Homes pleads not guilty

By Gregg K. Kakesako

LAST UPDATED: 11:25 a.m. HST, May 10, 2012

A 24-year-old man charged in what police say was an unprovoked knife attack on another man in Kalihi outside of Mayor Wright Homes last month entered a not guilty plea this morning in Circuit Court.

John Posco Sukuruta remains in Oahu Community Correctional Center, unable to post $75,000 bail on a charge of second-degree attempted murder.

Circuit Judge Richard Perkins set his trial for the week of  July 9.

According to a police affidavit, Suku­ruta was intoxicated and "getting out of control" when he left an apartment in the  Mayor Wright public housing complex on April 19 after drinking with a cousin.

The cousin said he followed Suku­ruta to Li­liha Street and saw him approach a 30-year-old man and yell at him in Chuuk­ese at about 1:38 a.m. as the victim was getting out of his car.

Sukuruta's cousin said Suku­ruta raised a knife in his right hand and, while cursing, repeatedly stabbed his victim — twice in his left cheek and twice more in the left shoulder, police said.

Paramedics took the victim to a hospital in serious condition with several stab wounds. He was later upgraded to stable condition.

Sukuruta was arrested in Chinatown at 2:05 a.m., about 45-minutes after the stabbing.

Witnesses identified him as the suspect and police found a knife nearby.

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