Emotions run high during convicted killer's sentencing - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Emotions run high during convicted killer's sentencing

Glenn Keohokapu, Jr.'s Glenn Keohokapu, Jr.'s
Gwen Kailihiwa Gwen Kailihiwa
Shantel Wilcox Shantel Wilcox
Glenn Keohokapu, Sr Glenn Keohokapu, Sr
Kristine Yoo Kristine Yoo

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - A variety of emotions filled an Oahu courtroom as a man, convicted of killing a teen outside a Kaneohe bar last year, received his punishment Monday.

Glenn Keohokapu, Jr.'s sentencing possibilities ranged from probation to life in prison.

Steven Wilcox's family says life will never be the same without him.

"I get all numb inside," Gwen Kailihiwa, victim's mother, said through tears. "And when people come to express their condolences, it's hard."

Glenn Keohokapu, Jr. fatally stabbed the 19-year-old in the parking lot of Club Komomai last June.

"Yesterday was my brother's 21st birthday," Shantel Wilcox, victim's sister, said through tears. "And instead of showing our love on balloons and sending it up to him, we should have been able to have held him."

Two months ago, jurors rejected the prosecution's argument that the killing was intentional and found the defendant guilty of manslaughter instead of murder.

"I'm sorry for the pain and suffering that you have to go through each and every day," Keohokapu said to the victim's family. "Never in my life would I ever wish anybody to die."

The usual punishment for manslaughter is 20 years in prison. But the jury that convicted the 36-year-old recommended an extended term based on his prior criminal record.

"It's not his fault," the convicted killer's father said through tears. "It's my fault."

Glenn Keohokapu, Sr. tearfully apologizes to the victim's family and tries to shoulder the blame, saying he was never there for his son.

"Never gave him a chance. First mistake he made, I kick him out," he said. "And one time, he was just reaching out to me for help, and I never gave him the opportunity."

The judge says Keohokapu is still young and can be rehabilitated. But for the protection of the public and to promote respect for the law, she sentences him to the extended term of life in prison with the possibility of parole.

Outside, the elder Keohokapu receives hugs and forgiveness from the victim's family.

"As long as we can get the family whole again, for the victim's family whole again, I think we've done part of our job today," Kristine Yoo, deputy prosecutor, said.

The judge also ordered Keohokapu to pay $6,289.87 in restitution.

The Hawaii parole board will decide how much time he must serve before he's eligible for release.

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