‘I wanted to run’: Defendant takes stand to blame girlfriend in brutal North Shore killing
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Defendant Stephen Brown testified under oath Tuesday that he didn’t kill North Shore mother and wife Telma Boinville, and suggested it was his then-girlfriend who did it when he left her alone.
Brown took the stand in his own defense for much of the morning, answering questions mostly in a monotone.
Most murder defendants don’t take the risk of testifying in their own defense but Brown’s defense argument required him to tell the jury how his then-girlfriend, Hailey Dandurand, would have the opportunity to brutally attack Boinville without him.
Brown told the jury, “I am here to take accountability for what I did do.”
He was the only defense witness at the trial.
Prosecutors say Boinville walked in on Brown and his then-girlfriend Hailey Dandurand while they were burglarizing a North Shore vacation rental in 2017 and was brutally killed.
Dandurand will next face a trial of her own.
William Bagasol, the defense lawyer for Brown, says his client is only guilty of burglary and kidnapping and claims Dandurand was the one responsible for Boinville’s death.
The trial began with questioning from the defense, followed by cross examination.
Brown described the events leading up to the murder of Boinville, saying he and Dandurand had been smoking weed and had gone into the home through an open window.
“Ultimately, I was sold on just the guitar and the champagne bottles,” Brown told the jury.
“I thought we were just going to hang out.”
That’s when he heard someone coming into the home. He said Dandurand, who was holding a machete, told Boinville to lay down and then they started tying her up.
He said it was all happening so fast.
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When questioned by the defense, Brown maintained that it was never his “plan” to hurt Boinville.
“No, not at all. I wanted to run,” Brown said. “That was my first instinct when she came.”
He also denied there was any confrontation with Boinville.
“We asked her to lay down,” Brown said, in response to cross examination by Deputy Prosecutor Scott Bell. “She was cooperative.”
Bell asked, “So Telma peacefully laid down for you. She did not resist?”
Brown said Boinville did not struggle as he and Dandurand tied her face down with hands and feet tied behind her back. He further testified he left her with Dandurand, who was carrying a large machete they’d used while camping at the beach.
He said when he left to look out for people coming to the front of the house, Boinville did not have any injuries.
“She was unharmed,” Brown said. “Like I said when I left she was perfectly fine.”
That testimony seems to be in conflict with medical evidence.
The medical examiner said Boinville’s autopsy indicated wounds on her hands and arms were probably defensive – endured as she fought off an attack, which would have had to have been before she was tied up.
Brown said when he returned from checking the property, he found the victim covered in blood.
“That’s when I walked back to Hailey and that’s when Telma, she had been hurt already. There was blood around her,” Brown said.
“I kind of walk over there and start snapping at Hailey, I was like, what the (expletive) did you do?”
Brown added, “There was blood on her, there was blood on Telma, there was blood on the ground.”
He told the jury he tried to see if Boinville was OK.
“I got on my hands and knees and tried to feel for her pulse,” he said.
“I didn’t know what I was doing but I was trying to put her hands on her neck to see if she was coherent. She was unconscious. I was just kind of freaking out. I was just in shock. It was kind of surreal this was.”
While Brown is on trial now, Dandurand will have a separate trial later on.
Closing arguments in Brown’s trial begin Thursday.
This story will be updated.
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