Convicted killer denies victim's family opportunity to address.. - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Convicted killer denies victim's family opportunity to address parole board

Daniel Kahanaoi Daniel Kahanaoi
Craig Kimsel Craig Kimsel
John Schum John Schum
Roy Reeber Roy Reeber
Jeen Kwak Jeen Kwak

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The family of a Honolulu defense lawyer who was shot dead in his own home in Kailua in 2009 was left feeling "disappointed" Monday, after the killer's minimum sentence hearing before the Hawaii parole board was abruptly called off.

The mother of slain attorney Craig Kimsel says she went to the Halawa Correctional Facility to tell the board about her loss and to take "another step along the process of healing." But any steps toward closure would have to wait.

Shortly after Barbara Ankersmit and her family got seated in the hearing room, the man who caused them so much pain emerged under heavy guard. But the grieving family wouldn't get a chance to address convicted murderer Daniel Kahanaoi, as he refused to participate in the proceedings.

"Mr. Kahanaoi does not want to make his appearance at this hearing today?" Roy Reeber, board member, asked.

"That is correct, sir," John Schum, Kahanaoi's attorney, replied.

The 46-year-old flashed a smile, as he was escorted back to his cell.

Last September, Circuit Judge Glenn Kim sentenced Kahanaoi to life in prison plus 20 years. The parole board must decide how much time beyond the court-imposed 30-year minimum the killer should serve before he's eligible for release.

Reeber disclosed that he knew the victim because Kimsel had appeared before the panel to argue cases.

"I have spoken to Mr. Kahanaoi and he would like me to object to your participation on the panel," Schum said.

Reeber says he only knew Kimsel in his professional capacity and could make an impartial decision regarding Kahanaoi's minimum sentence. Prosecutors had no objection.

"I believe that is sufficient," Jeen Kwak, deputy prosecutor, said. "If that is the case, most of the judges who sit in Circuit Court could not do this trial, as Mr. Kimsel has practiced law for a long period of time."

Without even being in the room, Kahanaoi managed to put the hearing on hold indefinitely.

"I think the proper course of action here is for me to recuse myself," Reeber said.

The victim's mother says she expected to feel sorry for Kahanaoi at the time of his sentencing, but saw that he had no remorse. She says she is no longer surprised by what Kahanaoi does.

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