Kaneohe murder suspect in court, families unite

Charles Kailihiwa
Charles Kailihiwa
Glenn Keohokapu Jr.
Glenn Keohokapu Jr.
Steven Wilcox
Steven Wilcox

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - It was an emotional day at Honolulu District Court as a convicted felon, now accused of killing a man at a Kaneohe bar, appeared before a judge. The violent crime has united two families from Waimanalo.

It's not something you see in every criminal case. But in the four days since a deadly stabbing in Kaneohe, the families of the suspect and the victim have become extremely close.

"What this family is going through and what us going through can make it so powerful to bring it like this, it's only God," Charles Kailihiwa, victim's stepfather, said.

"Case reference 48, Glenn Keohokapu, Jr.," the court clerk announced.

They sit together in the courtroom, as Glenn Keohokapu, Jr. makes his initial appearance. The 35-year-old is charged with murder.

"I always told my son, whatever you do, you're going to have to face the consequences, whether good or bad," Glenn Keohokapu, Sr., suspect's father, said. "And I just hope he's ready."

Witnesses told police the suspect was arguing with his wife in the parking lot of Club Komomai early Sunday. He's accused of stabbing 19-year-old Steven Wilcox in the chest when Wilcox tried to intervene.

"My apologies won't bring this brother back," the elder Keohokapu said. "But that's all I have to give, is just to say I'm sorry."

After the brief court hearing, the families, both from Waimanalo, join hands in prayer.

With a fresh tattoo honoring her son on her arm, Gwen Kailihiwa explains why she finds it easy to forgive.

"Because I want to see my son again," the victim's mother said. "And in order to see him again, you need forgiveness in your heart."

The accused killer remains locked up, unable to post $300,000 bail.

"I love my son," the suspect's father said. "He's wrong for what he's done."

An Oahu grand jury later determines there's enough evidence to send the case to trial. A Circuit Court arraignment date hasn't been set.