HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It was 2009 when Nicholas Iwamoto was brutally attacked after he hiked to the top of Koko Head. He survived, but now he's angry that the man arrested for the attack is being released from the Hawaii State Hospital.
Iwamoto was stabbed 18 times. He also suffered a broken neck and a fractured skull from falling into a ravine during the attack.
The attacker, Benjamin Davis, was acquitted by reason of insanity. On Thursday, a circuit court judge approved a request to release Davis into a halfway house, taking him a step closer to re-entering the community.
"To actually hear it's happened and his release is imminent is a bit shocking," said Iwamoto in a phone interview.
Judge Richard Perkins approved the request after a panel of three doctors -- including two psychiatrists -- determined that Davis was no longer a danger to the community. Iwamoto was notified of the decision, but because Davis wasn't found guilty, he had no say in the process.
"My words would have had no impact on the final decision, and that's distressing to know that I don't have a voice," said Iwamoto.
According to the court papers, Davis, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia, will be released into what's known as a State Operated Specialized Residential Program when a bed becomes available. The program would give him the highest level of care, and also the highest level of supervision. But that's no comfort to Iwamoto, who no longer lives on Oahu. He believes Davis should remain in custody for the violent attack for the rest of his life.
"We all have the power to choose," said Iwamoto. "No one held a gun to his head telling him to put a knife to my head 18 times. But he made that choice."
Iwamoto also wrote the following letter, sent to Hawaii News Now via email: