Jermaine Duckworth begged for his life before his killer shot him in the back of the head at the edge of a cliff near Yokohama Bay beach nearly three years ago, a prosecution witness testified in state court yesterday.
The witness, Ju Young Woo, 36, testified in the murder trial of accused killer Patrick Deguair, Jr.
This is the second trial Deguair, 33, is facing for Duckworth’s Mar. 27, 2008 murder. The first one in 2009 ended in mistrial after the jurors could not reach a unanimous verdict.
Woo did not testify in the first trial.
The prosecution secured his testimony this time by giving him a plea deal in the robbery of Aiea Cue that prosecutors say Deguair, Woo and another witness, David Teo, committed seven days after Duckworth’s murder. Instead of facing 20-year prison terms for first-degree robbery and three kidnapping charges, Woo pleaded guilty last month to second-degree theft, which carries a maximum five-year prison term.
Before Woo could explain to the jury how Duckworth begged for his life, Deguair shouted out, "You so full of s—."
Circuit Judge Glenn Kim sent the jurors to an early lunch and warned Deguair that another outburst will result in him not being able to attend the rest of the trial.
Woo said he was sitting in the front passenger seat of Deguair’s rented sport-utility vehicle when he saw Deguair march Duckworth to the edge of the cliff in front of the SUV.
"All I heard was the voice of the fat boy, the big boy, saying, ‘I didn’t rat, I didn’t rat," Woo said.
Duckworth, 24, was six feet tall and 275 pounds.
Deguair was standing behind Duckworth when Duckworth dropped to the ground, turned around and grabbed Deguair’s legs, Woo said. He said Deguair turned Duckworth back around and held an object to the back of his head.
Woo said he then heard what sounded like someone snapping their fingers. He said Deguair returned to the SUV, put the object in the back seat and said, "The f—-‘s gone."
The state says Deguair shot Duckworth with a .22 caliber handgun that had an attached silencer. It says Deguair killed Duckworth for talking to police about a previous home-invasion robbery in which Duckworth and Deguair were suspects.
When Woo was in custody at Oahu Community Correctional Center in June 2009 for the Aiea Cue robbery and Deguair was there awaiting his first murder trial, Woo said Deguair gave him a script to memorize blaming Teo for Duckworth’s murder.
Woo said he gave the script to his lawyer and gave a statement to police about Duckworth’s murder.
After Woo gave police the statement the state moved him out of OCCC into the Federal Detention Center.
Teo, 47, testified in the first trial and the current one that he was also in the SUV with Woo and saw Deguair shoot Duckworth. He pleaded guilty to participating in the Aiea Cue robbery and other charges in a deal with the state and has been in protective custody.