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Woman pleads not guilty to 2009 slaying of Puna woman

  • HAWAII COUNTY POLICE DPEARTMENT

    Patricia Wong, 54, of Mountain View.

HILO » A woman charged with the 2009 slaying of a 21-year-old woman who was shot in her Big Island home has pleaded not guilty to murder.

Patricia Wong, also known as Patricia Hanoa, entered her plea to second-degree murder Tuesday in the death of Kaycee Maile Smith. She has been released on $250,000 bond, The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported.

Wong had been extradited from Las Vegas, where she was arrested by U.S. marshals last month after a grand jury determined she “knowingly or intentionally” caused Smith’s death.

Smith was found dead in her living room on June 23, 2009, from a single gunshot wound to the head. Authorities haven’t said what led to the killing, but police say the crime scene had been altered to make the death appear to have been a suicide.

Wong’s attorney, Michael Ebesugawa, told Hilo Circuit Judge Glenn Hara on Tuesday that he has no objection to his client’s trial being set for Oct. 31.

“Obviously, we do not have any of the discovery or had a chance to speak to Miss Wong in any depth about the case, so we will bring the appropriate motion (to postpone trial) then,” Ebesugawa said.

County Prosecutor Mitch Roth said he is expecting the trial to last four to six weeks.

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