Man who pleaded guilty in stabbing death of foster mom gets 8 years behind bars

Published: May. 7, 2019 at 8:33 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The man who admitted to fatally stabbing his adoptive mother in a fit of rage when he was 16 will be out of prison in three years ― before his 25th birthday.

A judge handed the sentence down Tuesday, giving Kaanoi Kipapa eight years behind bars with credit for three years of time served.

Under a plea deal, Kipapa faced 20 years in prison for manslaughter.

But because he was a juvenile at the time of the crime ― with no prior history of violence ― the judge chose to sentence him as a young adult defendant to less than half the time.

The family of the victim ― Jolyn Kipapa ― packed the emotional sentencing hearing Tuesday afternoon. But after the sentence came down, they left the courthouse without saying a word.

During the hearing, Kurlyn Kipapa said her family has fallen apart since their mother was killed at their Waimanalo home on July 5, 2014, by her adopted brother.

The evidence showed the boy went back to the kitchen to grab different knives as well a cleaver to use in the crime.

“All these years, I wondered why. I always wanted to ask ‘Why? Why did you do this?’ I know there’s nothing that that lady did that would deserve death like that,” Kipapa said.

While the family described the victim as a loving and caring mother, the defense painted a different picture, saying Kaanoi Kipapa was badly abused and ridiculed for years.

“My 16-year-old self didn’t know there was another way,” Kipapa said, in court.

“I was so broken, so damaged that I didn’t know what else to do. I will forever be sorry for what I done. She didn’t deserve to die.”

Kipapa apologized to his family for the heinous crime and forgave them, too.

“I know you are capable of love and I saw it every day in the way you treated each other,” he said. “I never experienced it myself but I saw it every day and just wanted to be one of you, and not be treated like an animal.”

The victim’s family said Kipapa is lying about the abuse.

This story will be updated.

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