Tourist testifies in Chad DeSoto trial - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Tourist testifies in Chad DeSoto trial

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by Krystal Paco

Guam - What was supposed to be a vacation getaway turned into a nightmare for Japanese tourists who took to the stand today in the Chad DeSoto trial. The Tumon strip popularly referred to as "Pleasure Island" was anything but that on the night of February 12, 2013.

"Even though we came here on our honeymoon we didn't have a very good time," explained Daisuke Okawachi. He testified today on behalf of the prosecution he says he and his wife were married just two days before in Japan, and flew to Guam for their honeymoon.

That night, the newlyweds were "walking the town" on the way back to their hotel, when suddenly they saw two bright lights - what appeared to be headlights from an oncoming car. "Trying to dodge the car. I pulled my wife trying to dodge the car. But soon after I felt the impact and by the time I realized it was after and I did not know what was going on," he said.

Although he's not sure if he was directly hit by the car or by nearby people or possibly both, he awoke later in a bush in front of the globe nightclub where another Japanese man lay injured on top of him and Okawachi could see his injured wife crawling to him from the distance.

Although the two suffered minor injuries, the night was life changing for Haruka Nohara who was visiting the island.

As she testified today, she told the court the last thing she remembered was eating dinner at a seafood restaurant with her family before seeing a bright light and waking up in a Japanese hospital.

Although her memory of the night is limited, she could point at a photo where her white slipper lay abandoned on the sidewalk in front of the globe nightclub.

It's never stated how she was hurt, but where her slipper was found is where DeSoto drove his car before crashing into the ABC Store, darting out of the vehicle and stabbing others.

 "They told me that you were involved in a crime and you are now here. That's all they told me," he said.

Nohara was hospitalized for three and a half months with injuries that included bleeding in the brain and fractures through most of the left side of her body.

Also taking the stand today was local eye surgeon, Dr. Anthony Smith. Smith and his colleague Dr. Charles Flowers were at the Jungle Java coffee shop that night. As they were preparing to leave, they saw DeSoto's car crash into the ABC Store.

"We saw a gentleman who was trying to open the door I guess he was assuming it was regular crash," he said.

Dr. Smith observed the driver coming out of the car brandishing a cleaver and a steak knife before stabbing at nearby people.

He and Dr. Flowers are shown in outrigger surveillance footage fleeing the scene with dozens of others, but coming back to tend to the injured. With no medical supplies on hand however, their assistance was limited.

"I saw three memorable things. The baby that had been slashed in the face. He or she was being held by an elderly lady and I saw an elderly lady land on the ground who appeared pretty much expired. She already passed away - I think she's the one who had the injury in her back. Then we saw a younger lady who was struggling to breathe and sadly watched her take her last breath," he said.

Three people were killed during DeSoto's rampage and close to one dozen were injured. He has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. His trial continues Tuesday.

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