LIHUE — The defendant charged with the murder of an elderly Omao neighbor on New Year’s Day has a new trial date and his third attorney in the case.
Giovanni Lictawa Corpuz, 41, appeared in custody on Tuesday morning in 5th Circuit Court. He agreed not to object to a motion grated that allowed his court-appointed attorney Michael Soong to withdraw from the case. Soong said a conflict arose when he learned he knew family of the victim. The court appointed private attorney Mark Zenger to represent Corpuz. The trial date remains on Feb. 23, 2015.
Corpuz qualifies for public defender services and his original attorney was State Deputy Public Defender John Calma. He motioned to withdraw from the case for a potential conflict of interest on Oct. 27. Soong was then appointed. 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
In other court news:
– The trial date of a Kilauea dentist accused of shooting and wounding a neighbor’s dog was changed on Tuesday in 5th Circuit Court.
The trial of Michael Ray Furgeson, 66, was to begin on Dec. 8 was pushed to Feb. 23. He is charged with the March 14 shooting of Lola, a 10-year-old golden retriever that belonged to his neighbor, Catherine Curtis.
Chief Judge Randal Valenciano granted the motion of the defense to continue in the normal course. No reason was given for the continuance.
County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Sally Tobin did not object to the continuance.
Furgeson was indicted in May with carrying or using a firearm in the commission of a separate felony, first-degree cruelty to animals, second-degree reckless endangering, and third-degree promotion of a detrimental drug.
– A Lihue man who walked away from drug treatment and lost his probation was sentenced to five years in prison on Tuesday.
In his statement to the court, Frank A.K.K. Daligdig, 32, apologized for walking away from the Sand Island treatment facility in June. He asked for another chance and promised he would work harder.
“The open term is appropriate because of the defendant’s criminal history,” said Chief Judge Randal Valenciano, after granting the prosecutor’s motion for revocation of probation.
County Second Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Rebecca Vogt said the court had afforded Daligdig multiple opportunities and asked for prison. The deferent walked out of treatment without talking to staff, and later admitted to using methamphetamine, marijuana and alcohol, she added.
Court-appointed defense attorney Warren Perry represented Daligdig in a 2010 case in which the defendant was placed on probation and drug court. The charges included first-degree unauthorized entry, and third-degree theft. Court-appointed defense attorney Mark Zenger represented Daligdig in three other cases dating back to 2012 that involved second-degree burglary, first-degree unauthorized entry, second- and third-degree theft.
Daligdig was a principle or accomplice to in a series of burglaries and thefts in the Kapaa and Wailua area between Aug. 19 and Sept. 5, 2012. His two co-defendants, Kamron Aaron Cortez, and Aron Nagao, were given probation because of their youth status and the court had given the same opportunity to Daligdig before he blew the chance, Valenciano said.
The judge ordered the five-year sentences in four difference cases to run concurrently.