Taukitoku faces eight charges, including three counts of murder, robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. Manu faces six charges, including robbery, concealing a firearm...and coersion.
The defendants appeared in front of Judge Jack Schroeder via video teleconference from the Washoe County Jail. Teary-eyed friends and family members of the pair watched from inside the courthouse. Taukitoku's mother, Malia Lomano, told us her only son is innocent.
"I love my son and I know people out there who say my son is a killer, but I know he's not. He never killed no one," said Lomano.
Recent court documents detail what happened at the deadly Halloween party. Early Sunday morning, police responded to reports of gunshots fired at this home on Heatheridge Lane in South Reno. When they arrived, they found three people dead. One was local UNR student Derek Jensen.
The documents show the trouble started when UNR basketball player Tyrone Hanson bumped into one or both of the defendants. Witnesses told police Taukitoku and Manu then robbed Hanson, threw him to the ground and viciously beat him. Another witness says one of the subjects pointed a pistol at Hanson's head.
Documents say when the fight was over, one of the men fired the gun into the glass pane of the porch, shattering it. Another witness told police someone fired seven or eight rounds toward the home...before fleeing.
Taukitoku's mother says she's now looking for an attorney, whom she hopes can help dismiss the murder charges against her son.
"That's all I want. I want my son to come home," she pleaded.
Both defendants are in the Washoe County Jail. Manu is being held on $500,000, cash only, bail. Taukitoku is being held without bail.
The district attorney's office says Manu faces up to twelve years in prison...and Taukitoku faces up to three terms of life in prison without possibility of parole.
As for whether or not he could face capital punishment...after the preliminary hearing is over, Washoe county District Attorney Richard Gammick will be the one to decide whether or not this a death penalty case.