Man convicted of killing attorney gets life sentence plus 20 years - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Man convicted of killing attorney gets life sentence plus 20 years

Jeen Kwak Jeen Kwak
Steve Spencer Steve Spencer
Jocelyn Hilts Jocelyn Hilts
Glenn Kim Glenn Kim

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The man convicted in the deadly shooting of a Honolulu attorney last year will likely never taste freedom again, after a Circuit Court judge on Wednesday sentenced him to life in prison plus 20 years.

Judge Glenn Kim dropped the hammer on Daniel Kahanaoi, 46, saying he deserves a stiffer punishment because of his "obvious and utter lack of remorse."

Kahanaoi's attorney says the convicted murderer is not a monster, but a man who read bedtime stories to his children and fed the homeless.

"It's a person that sits before you without any prior criminal convictions on his record," John Schum, defense attorney, said. "He's described as a peaceful, kind, caring individual who has gone through his life helping others."

But prosecutors describe him as a cold-blooded killer, and say back-to-back prison terms should be imposed for the protection of the public.

"The manner he killed Craig Kimsel was nothing less than an execution," Jeen Kwak, deputy prosecutor, said. "He dared to do this in front of witnesses as if he doesn't care."

Attorney Craig Kimsel was shot and killed in his own home in Kailua April 28, 2009. Kahanaoi went there looking for his ex-girlfriend, Rusty Anoba, who was hiding in a bedroom.

Anoba cried throughout Wednesday's hearing. She later told us she feels grief and sorrow for the victim's family, and that she believes Kahanaoi would have killed her as well.

"Craig is my cousin. Craig is my friend. Craig is like my brother," Steve Spencer, victim's cousin, said. "Craig goes on living in all who have loved him in their hearts and minds."

Family and friends say Kimsel was a hard-working defense lawyer who rarely refused clients even if they were destitute.

"He was wrenched from us in a cruel, bloody and horrible way," Jocelyn Hilts, victim's friend, said. "We will all be forever scarred by the ugliness of his death."

Kahanaoi declined to speak. He often smirked and appeared bored.

Clearly upset by Kahanaoi's lack of remorse, the judge handed down a life sentence plus 20 years, and ordered him to serve a 30-year minimum before he can be considered for parole.

"That is atrocious behavior," Kim said. "This community of ours, which is a civilized community, will simply not tolerate it. It's as simple as that."

While Kahanaoi may not have had any prior criminal convictions, he does have two felony cases pending. He's accused of threatening his neighbors, and also stabbing a corrections officer at the Oahu Community Correctional Center.

More about this story on

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Convicted killer won't get life without possibility of parole

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