Trial date set in murder case

LIHUE — A second-degree murder and firearms trial was continued after the case changed court rooms on Tuesday in 5th Circuit Court.

Giovanni Lictawa Corpuz, 41, was to start his trial on Monday. He is accused of shooting and killing 88-year-old Amby Cruz of Omao, in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day 2014.

Corpuz is also charged with carrying or using a firearm in the commission of a separate felony.

He was arrested in Taiwan, while en route to the Philippines on Jan. 10, 2014.

Judge Kathleen Watanabe set the trial date for July 20.

The trial is expected to last up to four weeks including jury selection. A status hearing on the motion to compel a decision on DNA analysis of hair was scheduled for March 3.

Chief Judge Randal Valenciano granted a defense motion to recuse his court from the case on Thursday. He stated that a possible witness in the case was a former client of his private practice over a decade ago.

Court-appointed defense attorney Mark Zenger took over representing Corpuz in December, after attorney Michael Soong withdrew after reporting he knew family of the victim.

Corpuz continues to be held without bail at Kauai Community Correctional Center. If convicted, the state is seeking a life sentence.

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