Convicted killer gets life sentence overturned

 

A convicted killer could have faced life in prison with the possibility of parole. Instead, Glenn Keohokapu, Jr. will serve 20 years in prison. That’s what Circuit Court Judge Colette Garibaldi ruled Friday morning.

Keohokapu was convicted of manslaughter in the stabbing death of Steven Wilcox in June of 2008.

“The decision that judge had made I have to just go with it because she made her decision already, but still yet it feels like it wasn’t enough,” said Gwen Kailihiwa, Steven’s mother.

Keohokapu was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole, with the jury at his manslaughter trial agreeing he was a danger to society. He has a number of prior felonies.

An appeal of that extended sentence was granted with Circuit Court Judge Garibaldi to rule.

“He could have gotten probation and 20 years in jail. If he was found eligible to sentenced under the extended term sentencing he would have been eligible for a life sentence with the possibility of parole,” Deputy Prosecutor Kristine Yoo said.

The judge denied the extended sentence and ordered Keohokapu to 20 years in prison. He has already served nearly five years.

Wilcox was a triplet, leaving behind two brothers, as well as a little sister. Although it’s been a few years since the early morning stabbing outside a Kaneohe bar, Wilcox’s Mom says the family is still trying to mend.

“With my husband now, and my first husband, which is Steve’s dad they have the same thinking. They wasn’t good enough as a dad. What they did not do. Missing just that one part of us, makes them think differently,” said Kailihiwa.

The Hawaii Paroling Authority will set how much of the 20-year term Keohokapu will have to serve before being eligible for parole.

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