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Suspect in 2 felonies hurt in prison fight

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    Gary Landis: The homeless man is suspected of committing a fatal stabbing Nov. 9 and first-degree robbery June 11

A 30-year-old homeless man, suspected in the stabbing death of a newspaper vendor in Kaimuki, was hospitalized after getting into a fight Wednesday with two other inmates at Oahu Community Correction Center, where he is awaiting trial on a robbery charge.

An Oahu grand jury Wednesday indicted Gary Landis on charges of first-degree robbery for allegedly beating a 75-year-old woman and trying to take her purse in the parking lot of Marukai Market on June 11.

Landis has been in OCCC since his arrest last week. His bail was set at $125,000.

First-degree robbery is a Class A felony and carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.

The fight involved two other pretrial inmates — both men, 26 and 32 — the Department of Public Safety reported.

Only Landis required hospitalization. He was expected to be released from the hospital Thursday and returned to prison.

Landis is a suspect in a Nov. 9 killing of a Hawaii Kai man in Kaimuki.

Police arrested Landis on June 2 in connection with the fatal stabbing of 70-year-old Thaddeus “Ted” Pirga Jr., a retired welder and popular seller of the Sunday Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Pirga was fatally stabbed Nov. 9 at about 3:40 a.m. as he prepared to sell newspapers near Cafe Miro on Waialae Avenue.

Landis was released without charges the next day, as police continued their investigation.

Police arrested Landis again June 11 in the robbery case.

In a police affidavit filed in District Court, Judy Konishi said she was loading her car in the parking lot of Marukai Market at 10:20 a.m. June 11 when she was hit on the head.

When she fell to the ground, Landis allegedly tried to take her purse.

The victim said Landis was carrying a baseball bat when she saw him getting into her vehicle.

A police officer, who responded to the scene, said he saw Konishi on the ground and Landis searching through the car.

Landis allegedly fled across the street to Ward Warehouse, where another officer gave chase.

He ran to Ala Moana Boulevard with bat in hand, police said. When Landis raised the bat above his head, the officer drew his handgun and ordered him to put the bat on the ground and to lie next to it, the affidavit said.

Landis allegedly refused, fled again with the baseball bat and ran into the parking lot at Kewalo Basin and back to Ala Moana Boulevard with the officer in pursuit.

Police finally arrested him on the median on Ala Moana Boulevard.

Paramedics treated and took Konishi to a hospital, where she was treated and then released.

Landis had been confined at Oahu Community Correctional Center for seven months for robbing a Waikiki convenience store in November. He was convicted of second-degree robbery in February, sentenced to four months’ probation May 26 and released May 27.

Two days after his release from police custody without being charged in the slaying, Landis was cited at 2:15 a.m. June 5 for being in Kapiolani Park after it closed. The citation is a petty misdemeanor, which carries a maximum jail term of 30 days.

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