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Documents show locked exit led to Kalihi game room arrest

  • ROSE BERNARDO / RBERNARDO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Kilani Derego appeared before Judge Lono Lee today on charges of one count of first-degree terroristic threatening and two counts firearm-related charges.

A 26-year-old man accused of terroristic threatening after he allegedly attempted to rob an illegal game room in Kalihi at gunpoint made his initial court appearance at Honolulu District Court today.

Kilani Derego appeared before Judge Lono Lee on charges of one count of first-degree terroristic threatening and two counts firearm-related charges.

His bail has been set at $150,000.

A police affidavit detailed how Derego attempted to rob the game room with an unknown accomplice.

Police said a man later identified as Derego was wearing a ski mask when he entered the game room at 1104 Palama St. shortly before 3:30 a.m. Monday.

According to the affidavit, Derego wielded a black revolver handgun at a bouncer and told him to move back. When he entered the main room, Derego yelled, “Everybody get down!”

He walked toward another man, pointed the gun at him and ordered him to get on the ground. The affidavit said Derego walked around the room pointing the firearm at patrons and staff.

An unknown male who was already inside the game room told Derego to get the money from the cashier.

Derego gave the unknown male approximately $2,000 from the cashier as well as the cashier’s waist bag.

The affidavit said the accomplice fled through a back door while Derego attempted to flee from the front door, but it was locked.

An unknown patron from the game room followed Derego and a scuffle ensued between the two.

Police said the bouncer who Derego initially confronted when he entered the game room grabbed Derego’s gun. The affidavit said both men fought over control of the firearm at which time three rounds were discharged, striking the wall.

Police said the bouncer disarmed Derego and subdued him until police arrived.

When officers arrived, they observed Derego lying in a pool of blood on the ground in the entrance area.

He was taken to Queen’s Medical Center in serious condition after he sustained possible facial fractures in the fight.

Police recovered the gun, a .22 caliber, from the scene. The affidavit said Derego did not have a valid license to carry a firearm.

At the time of the game room robbery, Derego was free on a $150,000 bond pending a retrial for murder in the 2010 beating death of a taxicab driver in Waipahu.

Sometime after midnight on May 1, 2010, Derego and his friend, Michael Robles, entered a cab driven by Charlys Ty Tang in Waikiki. They arrived at the Waipahu Times Super Market parking lot when an argument occurred between Derego and Tang.

Robles testified in his own trial that Derego initiated the beating and inflicted severe injuries. Tang was taken to Queen’s where he died later that day. It was his 41st birthday.

In 2012, Circuit Judge Dexter Del Rosario sentenced Derego to life in prison with the possibility of parole for second-degree murder.

The Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals overturned the murder conviction in 2015, ruling that the judge should not have allowed the state to present Robles’ police statements as evidence.

Del Rosario allowed the prosecutor to present the police statements to jurors after Robles refused to answer questions at Derego’s trial. The appellate court said his refusal to answer questions denied Derego his right to cross-examine his accuser in the police statements.

The appeals court sent the case back to Circuit Court for retrial, which is tentatively set for January.

Despite repeated objections by the state, Derego was released from prison in July on a $150,000 bond pending the trial.

It was the second time he was released from prison within a year. Derego was previously released in September 2017 on a $150,000 bond but returned to prison five months later after he flagged down a police officer in Waikiki and admitted he cut off the ankle monitor owned by a bail bondsman.

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