Stephen Sakai, the bouncer who went on a shooting rampage in front of Opus 22 in Chelsea last year, was found guilty of two other murders yesterday and acquitted in a third killing. From the accounts we've read, Sakai was his own worst enemy throughout the legal process, beginning with implicating himself in three killings as police questioned him about his role in the May 2006 shooting of four patrons outside the club where he worked as a bouncer. While insisting that the shooter outside Opus 22 was a mystery gunmen, he told police that he killed two other men and was present during the murder of a third. One juror said Sakai was unwise to start blabbing extemporaneously. "It was a bad idea for him to sign those statements [to police]. If they didn't have those, he would have got off."
Sakai's decision to take the stand on his own behalf also seemed to hurt him, as the American-born man insisted on speaking with a "comically thick" Asian accent, dropping his l's for r's, and sporting a Charlie Chan-style mustache. Still, some jurors were believing the ninja-in-training's denials about killing an old friend and a co-worker. "I believed him until he started talking about [the police] injecting him with poison and then turned on his own lawyer."
Sakai will be sentenced next month and faces up to 50 years in prison. He's still going to stand trial for killing one man and wounding three others in the Chelsea nightclub shooting.