'Sick feeling’: Nearly 10 years after notorious Ewa Beach murder, accused killer’s release puts family on edge

'Sick feeling’: Nearly 10 years after notorious Ewa Beach murder, accused killer’s release puts fami

EWA BEACH (HawaiiNewsNow) - Nearly a decade after an Oahu woman’s murder, the man her family believes pulled the trigger has been released from prison.

The victim’s sister received an automated notification from correction authorities Monday morning, informing her that Toi Nofoa had been paroled after serving time for a kidnapping charge.

"When I got the text that he was released, it was like ugh. I didn’t want to get out of bed. I didn’t want to go anywhere,” said Kuikahi. "It was just a sick feeling that it’s reality now. I could possibly see him,” Kuikahi said.

Nofoa was the lead suspect in the 2009 killing of his ex-girlfriend, Royal Kaukani, in Ewa Beach.

The 25-year-old woman was shot multiple times in the head at point blank range outside her sister’s house while she was waiting for her nieces and nephews to come home from school.

Kaukani said her sister was in an abusive relationship for years. She said when she finally got the courage to leave Nofoa, she was kidnapped by him. Then six months later, she was killed.

"We could read each other's minds. We were so super close growing up. It was just like an emptiness, like a broken heart literally that never goes away, even to this day, still every single day,” Kuikahi said.

Domestic violence victims’ advocates say they remember Kaukani’s case very well.

“Her abuser was a known abuser. He had a history of abuse and it was a very violent death," said Marci Lopes, deputy director of the Domestic Violence Action Center.

Nofoa’s brother testified at a pre-trial hearing that Nofoa had confessed to him. But investigators found no physical evidence linking him to the crime.

Before her death, Kaukani was testifying against Nofoa in a kidnapping trial.

Kuikahi said she recalls Nofoa stalking her sister.

“We all knew. You could almost foresee it coming. From the kidnapping, to the threats, to hiding my sister, because my sister was in a shelter, a women’s shelter,’ said Kuikahi. “Ultimately, she was by herself and vulnerable and it happened."

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