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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, March 26, 2010

Suspect watched as victim bled

By Will Hoover
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Thomas Christopher Muscara

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MĀKAHA Residents at the Makaha Valley Plantation yesterday tried to make sense of an apparent knife fight between neighbors Wednesday night that left one man dead and another arrested on suspicion of murder.

The incident was the third knife attack in as many days on O'ahu, each of which resulted in a fatality.

Authorities and witnesses reported that, about 7:45 p.m. Wednesday, two men were involved in a loud argument in front of Unit 10 at 84-757 Kiana Place within the low-rise condominium complex. The commotion ended with one man on the ground in a pool of blood, and the other man watching as complex residents scrambled to assist the injured neighbor.

Arriving Emergency Medical Services personnel took the injured man in critical condition by ambulance to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead about 9 p.m., police said.

The medical examiner's office identified the dead man yesterday as Johnny Walton Jr., 51.

Police arrested Thomas Christopher Muscara, 27, at the scene Wednesday on suspicion of second-degree murder. Muscara was also arrested on three contempt of court warrants totaling $5,700.

Makaha Valley Plantation resident Judith Coykendall said she was cooking dinner in her third-story apartment as the argument took place outside on the ground level.

"I heard this really loud yelling out there, and I knew it was something way above normal," she said.

When she stepped onto the walkway outside her door to investigate, she said she saw Walton standing in front of Unit 10 holding his arm.

"He yelled, 'Will someone get me some help. I'm bleeding to death,' " said Coykendall, who rushed to call 911.

By the time she got to the street, Walton had fallen to the ground and seemed to be bleeding profusely from a wound to the side.

Coykendall said at one point she noticed Muscara crouching down nearby watching, and she asked him to get towels to stem Walton's bleeding.

"And he said, 'No I'm not helping that SOB. He came at me with a knife. I had to protect myself. I got my own knife out,' " she said.

Coykendall and an unnamed neighbor eventually found that Walton was bleeding from a wound on his right arm. That's when Emergency Medical Services personnel arrived and took over, she said.

The medical examiner's office listed the cause of death as "hemorrhage due to injury to blood vessels of the right arm due to stab wound."

Resident Sarah Ahina said she had considered the gated community with a visible security force as a safe place to live.

"It scared me last night. I told my husband, 'This is not a safe place,' " she said.

Muscara has four criminal convictions, all related to traffic stops last year, according to records with the Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center.

On Jan. 15, 2009, he was found guilty of operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant, excessive speeding, driving without a license and disorderly conduct. He was fined a total of $1,625 and ordered to perform 36 hours of community service.

In May 2008, a man and a woman filed separate petitions for a temporary restraining order against Muscara, according to court records.

Advertiser Staff writer Curtis Lum contributed to this report. Reach Will Hoover at whoover@honoluluadvertiser.com or 690-8909.