Question: Whatever happened to the case of the man arrested and charged with killing a New Mexico woman whose nude body washed onto the beach fronting the Royal Hawaiian Hotel nearly two years ago?
Answer: Aaron Susa is scheduled to stand trial Aug. 22 for second-degree murder for the death of Bryanna Antone. The trial will be before Circuit Judge Dexter Del Rosario.
Susa, a native of San Diego, is being held at Oahu Community Correctional Center on $500,000 bail.
His trial had been scheduled to begin June 21, 2010. But the case was continued — first to Nov. 29, then to April 11 and now to Aug. 22, which the Honolulu prosecutor’s office said is not unusual for a murder case.
Antone’s brother and mother are expected to testify at Susa’s trial, the prosecutor’s office said.
Antone, a film student at the College of Santa Fe in New Mexico, had turned 25 on Sept. 21, 2009, and was in Waikiki celebrating her birthday with her younger brother and mother, who was attending the American Dental Association convention.
Sometime before 6 a.m. Oct. 2, a beachgoer found Antone’s body on the beach. A police affidavit said Antone had neck and chest injuries and a crushed larynx. An autopsy by the Honolulu Medical Examiner’s Office found that she died of “asphyxiation due to salt water drowning.”
Several witnesses told police they had seen a man sitting atop a woman in the area where Antone’s body was found and that the woman appeared to be kicking and struggling with the man.
Susa had just been released from the federal detention center near Honolulu Airport the day before, Oct. 1, after serving a four-month sentence for parole violation on two 2005 drug convictions.
About 11 p.m. that day, Antone and her younger brother, Benjamin Antone, met Susa at the Royal
Hawaiian Center, Benjamin Antone said in a police affidavit. Susa told them he “just got out of jail that day,” Benjamin Antone told police.
They were joined by a fourth person and went to the Antones’ room at the Ohana Waikiki West Hotel, Benjamin Antone told police. Sometime after 1 a.m. Oct. 2, Susa and Bryanna Antone left the hotel.
Susa told police he and Bryanna Antone went to the beach at the Royal Hawaiian and Sheraton Waikiki and had sexual intercourse in the water. They had an argument and went their separate ways, Susa told police.
Police got a description of Susa from the victim’s brother and arrested Susa Oct. 5 in Makiki.
This update was written by Dan Nakaso. Suggest a topic for “Whatever Happened To …” by writing Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 7-210, Honolulu 96813; call 529-4747; or email firstname.lastname@example.org.