Tears were shed in the courtroom Tuesday as a Kalihi woman confronted the stranger who stabbed her.
In May 2015, Mavourneen Rombawa approached Danita Mendez and asked to use her bathroom.
The two got into an argument, and Rombawa stabbed Mendez in the head and neck with a hunting knife before setting the apartment on fire.
When officers found her, court documents said Rombawa had blood stains on her arms and pants and uttered, “I broke and cut all the equipment and wiring in the apartment because there were surveillance cameras, speakers and microphones” and “decided to stab her, and that she burn the place up because of all the wiring and bed bugs that had gotten all over her stuff on her and in her hair.”
Two days after the attack, Mendez was served an eviction notice due to the damage caused by the fire.
Rombawa was convicted of first-degree assault and arson, and was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years for each count.
A judge ruled both sentences can be served at the same time.
In court, Mendez said her life will never be the same.
“My anxiety was so high, I don’t have a word. I can’t even breathe properly anymore. I can’t go out in public, because I don’t trust nobody,” Mendez said. “If anyone knocks on my door, I will not open it, even if there is a peep hole, because I don’t know who this person knocking. It could be a murderer.”
“I didn’t plan on it to happen the way it did. If I could take back time and take things back and redo, I would have done it totally different,” Rombawa said. “My focus here today is getting a good treatment program that can get me clean and sober.”
As part of her sentence, Rombawa will also have to pay $210.