The widow of slain custom guitar maker Taku Sakashita described in Sonoma County Superior Court this afternoon her search for her missing husband at his workplace and area hospitals in February. Kavuko Sakashita’s testimony came at the trial of 29-year-old Joshua Begley, who is charged with murdering Taku Sakashita, 43, during a robbery and burglary. Begley is also charged with burglary, robbery, evading police and resisting arrest. Sakashita said she became concerned when her husband, known professionally as Taku Sakashta, did not return home from his workshop at 643 Martin Ave. in Rohnert Park as usual at 10 p.m. on Feb. 11. At 11:30 p.m., she went to his workshop, saw her husband’s Nissan in its usual parking space, and used her key to get in the locked front door. A door to a room inside that was normally open was locked, so she knocked but her husband did not respond, she said. When she entered the room through a small window, she saw blood on the floor and feared he had been injured by one of the machines in the shop, she said. She looked in her husband’s second-story office and in a drafting room, but the lights in both rooms were not working, she said. Sakashita also said a portable phone was missing from its base in her husband’s office, and another phone downstairs was not working. She then drove to two area hospitals to see if her husband was being treated there, she said. Sakashita said she then drove home to send one of her husband’s employees an email and drove to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, but her husband was not there. She returned to the workshop and saw her husband’s Nissan was still parked outside, but she did not re-enter the building, she said. After inquiring about her husband at a nearby business, she drove home and called the Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety. Police officers found Sakashita’s body in some bushes outside the business at about 4 a.m. Feb. 12. An autopsy determined he had been stabbed 11 times in the head, neck, chest and hand. According to evidence during Begley’s preliminary hearing, a bloody knife was found in one pocket of a jacket that had been placed over Sakashita’s body, and a black, right-hand glove with a yellow stripe was found in another pocket.Begley’s former girlfriend testified at the preliminary hearing that Begley owned a similar pair of work gloves and knife. A Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety officer testified he found a black, left-hand glove with a yellow stripe and blood spots in Begley’s Jeep Cherokee. Preliminary hearing testimony also revealed boot prints in blood inside the workshop matched Begley’s boots, and dried blood was found on them when they were recovered in his girlfriend’s apartment. Sakashita’s waist pack containing car keys, a cell phone and a wallet with an ATM card, some cash and a checkbook were missing and have never been found. Deputy Public Defender Charles Ogulnik told the jury during his opening statement last week that Begley never had possession of the items and that the case against his client is based on circumstantial evidence. He also said Begley was somewhere else at the time of the murder. Sakashita’s widow said no one ever tried to withdraw money with the ATM card or wrote checks on their account after Feb. 11. The trial resumes Tuesday morning.
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