HONOLULU (AP) — A U.S. prosecutor revealed a attainable glimpse into Hawaii’s underworld on Monday as he outlined the crimes a Honolulu businessman is accused of orchestrating: the kidnapping of a 72-year-old accountant who owed a debt, the discharge of a poisonous chemical right into a rival’s nightclubs and the killing of his late son’s greatest good friend, amongst them.

Michael Miske Jr. was arrested in 2020, together with seven individuals whom prosecutors described as associates. However following a sequence of responsible pleas by the others — together with a plea deal signed by his half-brother on Saturday — the trial opened with Miske because the lone defendant.

“The defendant used worry, violence and intimidation to get what he wished,” Assistant U.S. Lawyer William Akina stated in his opening assertion. “What he wished was cash, management and revenge.”

Miske’s legal professional, Michael Kennedy, painted a very totally different image of his consumer.

Miske, 49, wasn’t a criminal offense lord, however slightly a “self-made man” who, regardless of rising up “on the improper aspect of the tracks,” efficiently constructed a household enterprise referred to as Kamaʻaina Termite and Pest Management, Kennedy stated in his opening assertion.

The corporate saved iconic Hawaii constructions and “cultural treasures,” together with out of doors theater Waikiki Shell, ʻIolani Palace and the Polynesian Cultural Middle, Kennedy stated. Miske even fumigated a Honolulu live performance corridor without spending a dime after town could not afford the $200,000 estimate, Kennedy stated.

Akina alleged that Miske additionally owned a number of nightclubs the place disputes over bar tabs can be met with bodily assault from his “thugs.” As well as, he made tens of millions promoting unlawful commercial-grade aerial fireworks on the black market, Akina stated.

The businessman additionally groomed individuals from his Waimanalo neighborhood to violently rob drug sellers and perform different orders, the prosecutor stated.

Akina stated Miske ordered hits on individuals, and although many have been by no means carried out, no less than one was: the 2016 killing of Johnathan Fraser, greatest good friend to Miske’s solely son, Caleb. Miske had lengthy thought Fraser was a foul affect on Caleb, and blamed Fraser when the chums obtained right into a automotive crash in 2015 that led to Caleb’s demise, Akina stated.

“There could possibly be just one worth to pay for the demise of the defendant’s son,” Akina stated. “A life for a life.”

An indictment alleges that Miske bought a ship to dump Fraser’s physique into the ocean, although the physique has by no means been discovered.

Kennedy advised jurors on Monday that Miske did not blame Fraser for the crash and had nothing to do along with his disappearance.

The individuals who will likely be testifying in opposition to Miske have one thing to achieve from authorities, Kennedy stated, referring to plea offers made by his alleged associates.

“Lies are going to rain down into this courtroom from that stand,” he stated.

Testimony is scheduled to start Tuesday.

Opening statements proceeded regardless of a movement filed Sunday evening by Miske’s protection crew. His attorneys argued {that a} new jury must be chosen as a result of Miske’s half-brother John Stancil pleaded responsible after a jury had been assembled and sworn and Miske’s daughter-in-law Delia Fabro Miske pleaded responsible after 4 days of jury choice.

Protection legal professional Lynn Panagakos famous that Stancil pleaded responsible early Monday earlier than the courthouse was even open to the general public.

U.S. District Chief Choose Derrick Watson denied the movement.

In the present day Information High Newsmaac


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