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Corpuz murder trial continued

LIHUE — The trial date for a Koloa man accused of murdering an elderly neighbor on New Year’s Day was continued on Thursday in 5th Circuit Court.

With the second-degree murder trial date of Giovanni Lictawa Corpuz set for Monday, Chief Judge Randal Valenciano granted a defense motion to continue and set a new trial date of Oct. 27. This is the second continuance, after the original April 21 trial date was continued to June 23.

“This is a murder trial,” said State Deputy Public Defender John Calma. “We need more time to gather discovery evidence, for motions and trial preparation.”

County First Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Kevin Takata did not object to the motion. The defendant waived his right to a speedy and public trial at the first continuance.

Corpuz, 41, appeared in custody with Calma and court interpreter Felipa-Felina Garduque. She assisted him in his first language of Ilocano, a dialect of the Philippines.

Corpuz is accused of shooting and killing 88-year-old Amby Cruz of Omao in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day. He was arrested in Taiwan, while en route to the Philippines on Jan. 10.

Valenciano denied bail for Corpuz in February. He continues to be held at Kauai Community Correctional Center.

Corpuz is also charged with carrying or using a firearm in the commission of a separate felony. If convicted, the state is seeking a life sentence for inflicting death or serious injury on a person ages 60 or older.

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