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Man on trial for fatal stabbing under H-1 viaduct claims self-defense

By Nelson Daranciang

LAST UPDATED: 12:57 p.m. HST, Jun 24, 2014

A 26-year-old man on trial for a fatal stabbing under the H-1 freeway viaduct last year killed his victim in self-defense, the man's lawyer told a state court jury Tuesday morning.

Herwin Magbulos is on trial for murder for the May 5, 2013 stabbing death of 59-year-old Darryl Wong in a homeless encampment under the viaduct near Honolulu Airport.

Defense lawyer Edward Aquino told the jurors in opening statements that Magbulos gave Wong money to buy drugs for Magbulos. He said later, when Magbulos asked Wong for the drugs, Wong responded by swinging a piece of wood at Magbulos's head, choking him and attempting to hit him a second time with the piece of wood. 

Aquino said Magbulos then stabbed Wong with a large knife he found on the ground in the encampment as well as with a smaller one that he was carrying.

"He was merely and simply defending himself," Aquino said.

Prosecutor Kaina Awong told the jurors that Magbulos went to the homeless encampment to kill Wong and had told Wong's neighbor just prior to the stabbing that he had a problem with someone and was going to kill that person.

Awong said Magbulos stabbed Wong in the abdomen with the smaller knife and twisted the blade, then stabbed Wong in the back with the larger knife, which had a 10-inch blade. He said Wong also had defensive wounds including a cut on an elbow.

When the neighbor asked Magbulos what he had done, Awong said Magbulos responded with an expletive, and added, "Let him die."

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