Wayne Miller, who is cooperating as part of a 2020 plea agreement, said he had “nothing to gain by lying” about the 2016 killing of Johnathan Fraser.
After the defense pointed out inconsistencies in his stories, Michael Miske Jr.’s former top associate said Friday he had heard Miske talk about plotting a 2016 killing several times in different locations.
Wayne Miller told jurors that Miske had gone to his house in Waipahu after 21-year-old Johnathan Fraser was killed and said “it’s done.” But defense attorney Michael Kennedy pulled up a photo of a Japanese restaurant and said that was where Miller told FBI agents he was when heard Miske’s words.
The exchange came on the second day of cross-examination in which the defense sought to discredit Miller, who was a co-defendant of Miske’s before he reached a plea deal and testified for the prosecution.
Kennedy said the inconsistencies in Miller’s testimony and informant statements to the FBI in 2017 raised doubt and suggested that Miller made up hearing the confession to curry favor with prosecutors.
“That so-called confession never happened at a restaurant, never happened at a house, never happened at all,” Kennedy said. “It’s just a way to get your life back isn’t it?”
“No,” Miller said.
Prosecutors say Miske had Fraser killed because he mistakenly blamed Fraser for the car crash that led to the death of Miske’s son, Caleb Miske, that same year.
Kennedy also said Miller told the FBI that the day Fraser disappeared, Miske drove the young man to his boat called the Painkiller, which was docked at Kewalo Basin Harbor, and another former co-defendant Lance Bermudez, was hiding onboard waiting to kill Fraser.
But Kennedy said the boat was actually docked in Kaneohe on the other side of the island that day.
Fraser was last seen on July 30, 2016, in Hawaii Kai. His body has never been found.
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Kennedy proposed that Miller had another motive for testifying against Miske besides trying to strike a more favorable deal for himself with prosecutors — revenge. Kennedy said Miller was angry because Miske had left him out of multiple business ventures, including a construction business and several restaurants the two were planning to start together.
“He fucked you and he burned you, that’s what you told the FBI,” Kennedy said. “And you were tired of his lack of loyalty.”
“Yeah, I said that,” Miller replied.
But ultimately, Miller said he wanted to work with Miske because of the security and protection that came with being part of his crew.
“You feel like nobody can touch you,” he said.
He also said at the time he felt “guilty” that he hadn’t done more to help Miske orchestrate Fraser’s killing.
He said when Caleb was in the hospital dying, he heard Miske say the kid has got to go, referring to Fraser. He recalled being asked to buy supplies, like wires and weights, that would be used to dispose of Fraser’s body at sea.
After Fraser was killed, he said he remembered Miske saying, “no body, no case.”
He also described other crimes he said Miske had directed him and other associates to commit.
He was once instructed to follow a man named Ryan Teramoto, whom Miske had supposedly recorded flirting with his girlfriend. Miller said he put a tracker on Teramoto’s car while both of the men were at the hospital visiting Miske’s son.
Miller also said Miske once offered a North Shore hit man $200,000 to kill a woman and doubled the price after the hitman refused because he said he didn’t want to hurt women.
Miske was a successful businessman, Miller said. but he had a unique motto. The former boss once told Miller he made “M’s,” meaning “millions,” selling illegal fireworks.
After Kennedy accused Miller repeatedly of being untrustworthy, prosecutors asked him if he would lie on the stand, considering giving truthful testimony was one of the terms of his plea agreement.
“I have nothing to gain by lying,” he said.
Miske is standing trial alone after a dozen former co-defendants including Miller flipped and entered into plea agreements. He is under a 22-count indictment, with charges including murder in aid of racketeering and murder-for-hire conspiracy resulting in death, both of which carry mandatory minimum life sentences upon conviction.
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