27 Mar 2006

Hawai'i murder suspect back after escape to Tonga

1:25 pm on 27 March 2006

American government officials say a fugitive who has been on the run since 2004 is back in Hawai'i, after he was arrested in Tonga.

John Wilfred Penitani is accused of killing Mikiala Kahalewai outside a Honolulu bar in April 2004.

Penitani and a Samoan man, Ulutunu Faumuina, attacked Kahalewai because they thought he urinated on one of their trucks.

Penitani fled Hawai'i before charges were brought against him.

Last year, the U.S. Marshal Service in Honolulu listed Penitani as one of the 10 Most Wanted Fugitives in Hawai'i.

Last month, he was arrested in Tonga and was brought to Honolulu two weeks ago.

The murder trial for John Penitani and Ulutunu Faumuina is expected to begin in Honolulu in May.