Ala Moana Park murder suspect indicted, victim remembered - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Ala Moana Park murder suspect indicted, victim remembered

Khaynava Phanthanouvong was fatally shot at Ala Moana Beach Park on September 1 Khaynava Phanthanouvong was fatally shot at Ala Moana Beach Park on September 1
Jade Powers Jade Powers
Christopher Alesna turned himself ion to police on September 4 Christopher Alesna turned himself ion to police on September 4

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

NUUANU (KHNL) - Family and friends gathered to remember a Kalihi teen who was shot and killed at a popular beach park on Oahu.

Also on Tuesday, the case against the accused gunman moved forward. Prosecutors presented their case to an Oahu grand jury, which determined there's enough evidence to send it to trial.

KHNL News 8 was there as Christopher Alesna, 19, turned himself in to police last week. On Tuesday, the grand jury indicted him on murder and firearms charges. Investigators say he gunned down Khaynava Phanthanouvong, 18, after they met at Ala Moana Beach Park to fight.

With heavy hearts, family and friends arrive at Nuuanu Memorial Park to honor Khaynava Phanthanouvong, a teen described as a free spirit who was always smiling.

"People like him, young or old. He was a good kid," Jade Powers, victim's sister, said. "And I can guarantee you, no one has one bad thing to say about him."

Family members say the 18-year-old had dreams of becoming a firefighter, and was always willing to give a helping hand to anyone in need. His murder has been especially tough on his mother.

"Every day she's, there's moments that she can't really handle it," Powers said. "That's when reality really hits her and all of us. So I'm trying to stay strong for my mom."

Investigators say before the shooting, Phanthanouvong called and sent text messages to the suspect, challenging him to fight. The victim's sister says that surprises her because it wasn't in his character.

"Stop the violence. Stop the crime," Powers said. "My brother doesn't have to die over something so senseless. I mean, it's so senseless."

Family members say they're happy the grand jury returned an indictment in the case. But on this day, their focus is on their loved one.

"What we're going through, no one should have to go through it. No one," Powers said. "No family should have to go through this."

The next step for the suspect is his Circuit Court arraignment. A date hasn't been set.

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