Witnesses: Killer spied on estranged wife in grocery store before fatally stabbing her

Witnesses: Killer spied on estranged wife in grocery store before fatally stabbing her
(Image: Viewer)
(Image: Viewer)

WAILUKU, MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - The man accused of stabbing his estranged wife in a Wailuku Foodland last week followed her around the grocery store for some time, peeking around corners to watch her shopping with her boyfriend, a witness said Monday at a preliminary hearing.

Witnesses also described 45-year-old Stephen Schmidt as cold, calculating and lacking remorse.

Schmidt is charged with first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder stemming from the stabbing, in which two good Samaritans were injured.

Police say Schmidt cut his estranged wife's throat after a confrontation with her boyfriend.

Kehau Farias Schmidt, 24, died at the hospital.

There was standing-room only at the preliminary hearing on Monday afternoon. Several people could be heard crying as witnesses recounted what they saw.

One witness said she saw Schmidt peeking around corners to watch the couple. She thought he was joking at first, then knew something wasn't right.

"I saw him looking around the corner and the I kind of tilted my head and I saw a girl and a guy," she said. "I didn't get a good look at them, but I went and told the cashier."

David Ryan, Kehau Farias Schmidt's boyfriend, also took the stand, saying that the couple stopped by the store to grab dinner.

Ryan said he had no idea Schmidt was there until they were approached. That's when Schmidt grabbed his arm, pulled him close and asked, "Man to man, do you love her," Ryan said.

Ryan said Schmidt then pulled out a knife. Ryan managed to break free, and Schmidt turned his attention to his estranged wife, Ryan said.

"He's standing behind her, grabbed her, pulled her head to the right and upwards, put a knife to her throat and cut," Ryan said.

During the testimony, a shackled Schmidt sat next to his defense attorney, with his body facing away from the witness stand. He remained stoic, and kept his eyes fixed on the floor throughout the hearing.

The hearing continues at 2 p.m. Wednesday.

Copyright 2016 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.