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Suspect pleads not guilty in 2009 fatal beating

    This undated photo shows Vito John Talo, who is being held on $250,000 bail on a second degree murder charge for the beating death of Damaso Domingo in 2009.

A 28-year-old man pleaded not guilty in Circuit Court this morning to the fatal beating of a 54-year-old man in Kalihi three years ago. 

Vito John Talo pleaded not guilty via teleconference from Oahu Community Correctional Center before Circuit Judge Richard Perkins. A Oahu Grand Jury indicted Talo, also known as John Vito Talo, on a second-degree murder charge on Dec. 20. 

Prosecutors said Talo fatally beat Damaso Domingo, 54 at about 2 a.m. on Jan. 13, 2009 in Kalihi. Domingo was found severely beaten near the intersection of North School Street and Lanakila Avenue and was taken in critical condition to the Queen’s Medical Center, where he died two days later. 

Witnesses said Domingo was attacked by two men. Police arrested Aitasi B. Legatasia, 19, of Kalihi, about nine months after the attack. He pleaded no contest last year to third-degree assault in the beating. Prosecutors granted Legatasia a deferral of his plea and he is expected to be a witness in the case against Talo.

Trial is tentatively scheduled to be held the week of Feb. 27 before Circuit Judge Richard Pollack.

Talo is being held at Oahu Community Correctional Center in lieu of $250,000 bail.

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