Suspect in brutal Kahala stabbing wants judge to throw out charges

Attorney seeks to have Kahala stabbing case dismissed

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Through his attorney, the suspect in a brutal stabbing of a teenager in Kahala last summer is asking a judge to throw out the charges.

Erik Willis has been in custody without bail at the Oahu Community Correctional Center since July on second-degree attempted murder charges.

But his lawyer, Eric Seitz, said much of the case is based on surveillance camera video showing Willis in the Kahala neighborhood but not at the scene of the crime.

“So this is a case where there is virtually no evidence linking this defendant to the scene or to the crime itself other than perhaps he was seen in the area,” he said.

“There’s no physical evidence, none whatsoever, no knife.”

He added, “And there is that video that shows him on the bus, there is that video that shows him walking. And there is a grainy video that was shown to various people, very few of whom were able to identify him as the person shown in the video.”

Seitz is also seeking supervised release for Willis but prosecutors said he’s a danger to the community.

“He poses a serious risk to the community and that no combination of conditions will reasonable assure the safety of the community,” said deputy Prosecutor David Van Acker.

The judge said he will rule later on whether to dismiss the case or grant Willis’ supervised release.

Willis, who has a severe mental handicap, is accused of repeatedly stabbing a 17-year-old girl in the neck and chest at Kahala Beach in July.

Police reports filed in court say the victim positively identified Willis as her attacker.

But Seitz disputed that account.

“There were photographic line-ups shown to the victim in the hospital, in a manner that can only be described as a bunch of Keystone Cops because she couldn’t talk and they way they asked their questions were very bizarre,” he said.

The victim did testify during Wednesday’s hearing but Circuit Kevin Souza did not allow the media to record her testimony.

Hawaii News Now argued that it should have been allowed to report on her testimony and other evidence.

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