Meheula Found Guilty of Murder

Kealiiokalani Meheula found guilty of murder in court on Friday.
Kealiiokalani Meheula found guilty of murder in court on Friday.
Percy Kipapa
Percy Kipapa

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- Was it murder or self-defense? A man says he had no choice but to stab his friend to death because his friend was trying to kill him. Friday, a jury reached a verdict in the case.

Kealiiokalani Meheula walks through the main entrance to the courtroom. He will not be leaving the same way.

"We the jury in this case find the defendant guilty as charged," the court clerk read.

Two families break down in tears, as a panel of six men and six women finds Meheula guilty of murder. The judge orders him into custody immediately.

The defendant took the witness stand Thursday, and showed the jury how he stabbed his friend. The attack left Percy Kipapa dead. The 31-year-old was a retired sumo wrestler.

"I'm the victim. Still, I can't have him back," Priscilla Kipapa, victim's mother, said. "I won't see grandchildren. I won't see my baby. He's my baby."

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

But on May 16, 2005, while they were riding in a truck, he claims Kipapa snapped and grabbed him by the throat. He says he stabbed Kipapa three times in self-defense. The jury didn't buy it.

"They're both abusing ice. They're both on ice at the time it happens," Glenn Kim, deputy prosecutor, said. "I mean, enough said, I think."

"Mr. Meheula wanted me to say to the Kipapa family that he's sorry for what happened to their son," William Domingo, defense attorney, said. "It was his friend, still is his friend."

Second-degree murder carries a mandatory term of life in prison with the possibility of parole. Meheula is scheduled to be sentenced September sixth.