Murder trial begins for man accused of stabbing friend

Jacob Le
Jacob Le

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He’s suspected of killing a friend.

Now, 27-year-old Jacob Le is on trial for murder.

Jeanelle Bautista found 23-year-old Keola Kanae bleeding to death on a stairwell at Ala Moana Center on Oct. 3, 2012. She quickly ran for help.

“I seen him near the fountain close to Bubba Gump’s area. The fountain that is between Mai Tai’s, Bubba Gump’s, and CPK,” Bautista said.

Bautista says she saw the defendant not far from the murder scene.

“Frankly, at the time, she’ll tell you it didn’t mean anything because she is panicking, trying to get Ola help. But when she saw him, defendant at the funeral, it clicked. ‘Hey, I’ve seen that guy before. He was at the mall that day,'” Deputy Prosecutor Kristine Yoo said.

KHON2 interviewed friends the day after Kanae was murdered. One of them was Le.

A Honolulu Police Department detective interviewed Le a second time.

“Ultimately, Detective Allen Kawana will tell you what the defendant told him, that he was there. Defendant was there. They were talking and that yes, he did stab him,” Yoo said. “Not once, not twice, but three times.”

Le’s attorney says his client didn’t do it and that the real killer remains at large.

“Now, this is what the evidence will show. A closer look at the investigation itself will reveal unexplored leads. It will reveal questionable tactics by the police. And it will reveal overall bad police work,” Le’s attorney Lee Hayakawa said.

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