Army reservist pleads not guilty in fatal stabbing of girlfriend
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser March 29, 2023
HONOLULU (Tribune News Service) — A 25-year-old Ewa Beach man pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree murder in the March 13 death of Laau Jordan Laulusa, 21, and first-degree arson for burning her vehicle in the Mililani High School parking lot.
Samuel M.D. Jones appeared at his arraignment Tuesday in Circuit Court by video teleconferencing before Judge Christine Kuriyama, who confirmed his bail at $1 million.
Jones, a specialist in the U.S. Army Reserve, requested a jury trial, which the judge set the week of May 29 before Judge Catherine Remigio.
Jones was indicted March 17 in the death of Laulusa, a Hawaii Army National Guard specialist.
A court document says that Jones was seen by witnesses leaving a burning vehicle at 95-1200 Meheula Parkway, and taking items from the front driver’s door.
Firefighters responded to a 6:40 a.m. call of a car fire. They found Laulusa’s body inside the car. Police said she had visible cuts to her neck and multiple puncture wounds to the right armpit.
He was stopped in front of the Mililani Library at 7:02 a.m.
Police said in the court document that Jones smelled like burnt plastic and a portion of his right shoe was melted and blood was found on his left ankle.
Police found a bag inside a trash can at a nearby park with bloody clothing inside. A witness saw a man matching Jones’ description.
Police said the fire was intentionally set, possibly with the use of an accelerant.
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