2 indicted for kidnapping man whose body was later found in Kailua woods

2 weeks after murder victim found in Kailua forest, police make an arrest

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A grand jury on Tuesday indicted both Keone Labatad and Stacey Maae for kidnapping following the death of a man whose body was found by hunters off a Kailua hiking trail three weeks ago.

A police affidavit says on May 10, a witness saw Labatad strike the victim, 38-year-old Benjamin Awong, in the head with a handgun and then take him away in a vehicle. His body was found five days later.

Keone Labatad (Image: HPD mug)
Keone Labatad (Image: HPD mug)

Sources told Hawaii News Now Awong was found face down with his hands bound behind his back with duct tape and zip ties.

Keone Labatad has a lengthy criminal record. Sources say he has 60 prior arrests. He faced an attempted murder charge in 2002, but pleaded guilty to a lesser assault charge and served 10 years in prison.

Records also show Labatad was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder in Kahuku in 2015 after a 54-year-old victim reported being choked, stabbed and hit with a metal bar.

Labatad was released pending investigation and never charged.

Labatad also served time in 2017 for second-degree robbery and has been on probation for domestic violence charges.

Documents also show Labatad sued the Saguaro Correctional Center in Arizona after he was assaulted in a cell where he was placed with a rival gang member. The court case identified Labatad as a member of the La Familia gang, and he was put in a cell with an USO Family gang member.

Meanwhile, Stacey Maae has also been charged in other crimes, including a violent robbery on Dole Street and a hit-and-run crash. She was also among several girls who sued the state in 2007 over abuse at the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility in Kailua.

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