The preliminary hearing for accused murderer Arthur Maunakea got underway Tuesday and for the first time the family of Lamondrea Brown heard the grim details of his untimely death.
The specifics of Brown's death laid out in painstaking detail by a forensic pathologist and witnesses to the aftermath of the attack described the final moments of Brown's life on the first day of testimony in the preliminary hearing.
Maunakea, 53, of Turlock is facing homicide charges in the death of Brown, 23.
According to the arrest warrant, Brown was stabbed once in the chest during an altercation with Maunakea on the afternoon of Oct. 31, 2009, outside an apartment complex at 1240 N. Olive Avenue.
Brown and Maunakea were acquainted with one another through Maunakea's great-niece, who was dating Brown, police said.
The fatal fight was allegedly over a debt of less that $100 that Maunakea owed to Brown, said Turlock Police Investigations Sgt. Russell Holeman, at the time of Maunakea's arrest.
The confrontation between the two men began as a verbal disagreement and escalated as it moved outside the residence. At some point in the fight, police say Maunakea plunged a large knife into Brown's chest.
A forensic pathologist testified that the single stab wound pierced Brown's heart and lung causing "a near immediate death." When asked to clarify what he meant by "near immediate" the pathologist said it was likely 20 to 30 minutes after suffering the stab wound that Brown died - a fact that caused his mother to shudder with sobs.
Maunakea was taken into custody moments after the stabbing when he waved down a passing Turlock Police patrol car on Wayside Drive. He was identified by witnesses at the scene as the one responsible for the stabbing, according to the police report.
Two witnesses testified Tuesday that they heard Maunakea make statements that he was responsible for the stabbing.
Husband and wife Kevin and Yolanda Hauser were driving by the apartment complex when they noticed a commotion and thought a woman was being attacked. They pulled up alongside the apartment and Kevin Hauser ran to offer help, which is when he saw Brown lying on the ground.
Kevin Hauser said he watched as Brown made a few short gasps for breath and then lapse into unconsciousness.
Both of the Hausers testified that they heard Maunakea say, "Yeah I stabbed him. He made me mad."
Kevin Hauser also testified that Maunakea told Brown to "get up" and "be strong" and placed his sweatshirt over Brown's wound before striding off toward Wayside, proclaiming that he was going to the police department and turn himself in.
The preliminary hearing is being held to determine if there is enough evidence to hold Maunakea over for trial on the homicide charge. It is set to resume at 10 a.m. today.
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