Defense attorney in Hawaii love triangle murder trial says acupuncturist cheated with multiple women
Jul 13, 2023, 1:08 PM
HONOLULU (AP) — A Hawaii man charged with murder in the shooting death of the acupuncturist who was having an affair with his wife wasn’t the only person with a motive to kill him, a defense attorney told jurors at the start of the trial.
Eric Thompson was arrested on Valentine’s Day last year and has been under house arrest in an upscale Honolulu neighborhood. Police said he shot Jon Tokuhara, an acupuncturist treating Thompson’s wife, after discovering the affair through Instagram messages and videos.
Tokuhara “had a track record of cheating,” including with women who had families, Thompson’s defense attorney said. Jilted women ghosted by Tokuhara would have had the same motive, attorney David Hayakawa said, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.
Hayakawa said police ignored other leads for possible suspects, noting that Tokuhara was a gambler and nearly $4,000 in cash was found next to his body in his office.
Thompson and his wife were high school sweethearts.
Tokuhara ruined the couple’s image of a perfect life and that’s why Thompson killed him, KHON-TV reported a prosecutor saying.
“He shot him not once, not twice, not three times, but four times to the face,” said Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Benjamin Rose.
Surveillance footage shows Thompson parked near Tokuhara’s office and walking in wearing a hat and sunglasses, police said. The hat fell on the street as Thompson was leaving, police said, and DNA testing showed it was likely worn by Thompson.
“Eric Thompson killed the man who slept with his wife,” Hawaii News Now reported Rose saying. “This is a story as old as time.”
The trial continued Thursday and the judge expects it to wrap up by the end of the month, KITV reported.