Accused Killer Explains Self-Defense Claim

Kealiiokalani Meheula
Kealiiokalani Meheula
Percy Kipapa
Percy Kipapa

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- A jury is deciding the fate of a man who admits he stabbed a former sumo wrestler to death. The defendant took the witness stand Thursday, and told jurors he had no choice but to defend himself.

Kealiiokalani Meheula stands up and demonstrates for the jury just how he stabbed his long-time friend.

"He had me by my neck, pulling me towards him, trying to grab the knife, and I just swung it," he said, while making jabbing motions.

The attack left Percy Kipapa dead. The 31-year-old was a sumo wrestler in Japan in the 1990s.

"Something about him that night that there wasn't, didn't seem right about him," Meheula said. "He's not his usual self. He's always happy."

He says he and the victim used to smoke crystal methamphetamine together.

But on May 16, 2005, while they were riding in a truck, the defendant says Kipapa snapped and threatened to kill him. Meheula says that's when he pulled out his hunting knife.

"I pointed it at him," he said. "And I told him to get the f*** out of the truck."

He says the former wrestler hit him in the stomach and grabbed him by the throat.

"I felt like my eyes was going pop out, sir," Meheula told deputy prosecutor Glenn Kim.

Kim shows the defendant his arrest photo.

"You see anything on your throat? You see any bruising, any mark at all?" Kim asked.

"Looks like, sir," Meheula replied.

"Well, we'll let the jury decide," Kim said.

Jurors must decide whether it was self-defense or murder.

"My testimony is that I had no choice," the defendant said.

The jury began its deliberations Thursday afternoon.