Former police officer convicted of murder seeks parole

Kenneth Mathison
Kenneth Mathison

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A former Big Island police officer who killed his wife more than 20 years ago wants his freedom back.

Kenneth Mathison went before the Hawaii Paroling Authority on Wednesday. But prosecutors are trying to prevent that from happening.

Two decades after the brutal killing, the pain is still heartbreaking for the victim’s family.

“You laughing at me and said, ‘you’re gonna get away, Ken Mathison,’” victim’s brother Robert Martins said. “You did this to my family brah, not to me, to my mom.”

It was an emotional outbreak from Martins, the brother of Yvonne Mathison, who was killed by her husband in 1992.

Martins says to this day, his mother still feels the sorrow of losing her only daughter.

“Every time I see her, she cries. Every day she walks past the hallway to go nap and she looks at my sister on the wall and she cries,” Martins said.

Prosecutors say Mathison kidnapped his wife and beat her inside his van, then ran over her to make it look like an accident. Prosecutors say Mathison had purchased an auto insurance policy that would have paid him $675,000 if his wife died in an auto accident.

“We call him an animal, he’s an animal. He never did show remorse. He always laughed at us every place. At times, we see him coming in one store after us and laughing at us,” Martins said.

Mathison’s minimum prison term was originally set at 25 years.

In 2009, the Hawaii Paroling Authority set the minimum at 90 years, but that ruling was struck down, so a new hearing was held Wednesday.

Prosecutors say that Mathison should get a longer minimum sentence because he has never admitted or shown any remorse to his wife’s family for the killing.

But in Wednesday’s hearing, through video conference from a mainland prison, Mathison says he’s ready to talk.

“If they’d like to know, I’ll offer to sit down and talk with them. I’ll tell them exactly what happened,” Mathison said.

Family members say they’re not convinced that Mathison will tell the truth, and that he’s only trying to get leniency from the parole board.

The Hawaii Paroling Authority did not make a decision Wednesday. It is asking the Attorney General for more information on why Mathison should get more than the 25-year minimum.

Related story: Another parole hearing set for former police officer convicted of murder

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