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Convicted killer's life sentence changed to 20-year term

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 12:52 p.m. HST, May 04, 2013

A convicted killer whose life prison term for manslaughter was overturned on appeal was resentenced in state court Friday morning to 20 years behind bars.

A jury found Glenn Keohokapu, Jr. guilty of manslaughter in the June 2008 stabbing death of Steven Wilcox during a confrontation outside Club Komo Mai in Kaneohe.

The same jury found Keohokapu eligible for a life prison term with the possibility for parole and a state judge imposed the extended term sentence in June 2009.

The normal penalty for manslaughter is 20 years in prison.

The Hawaii Supreme Court overturned the life sentence last year because the trial court told the jurors that Keohokapu could get parole under the 20-year sentence and allowed improper testimony in the sentencing phase of the trial.

Circuit Judge Colette Garibaldi conducted a new sentencing trial last month. This morning, she determined that Keohokapu is not eligible for an extended term sentence and imposed the 20-year term.

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Pocho wrote:
Probably serve 10 and back on the streets. Great job Judge and crew
on May 3,2013 | 01:11PM
HAJAA1 wrote:
10 years? If we, the law-abiding public, are lucky.
on May 3,2013 | 01:12PM
loquaciousone wrote:
Yikes the dangerous East side.
on May 3,2013 | 02:27PM
allie wrote:
all too predictable. He will be out soon. As I have said many times, the judges out here are very weak and poorly educated in law. It hurts.
on May 3,2013 | 02:25PM
yrusodz wrote:
really allie? so why don't you educate everyone here on what statute or code of law this judge misunderstood or misinterpreted? Just amazing! such ignorant trash talk from someone who is obviously an ignorant waste product of an intellectually and morally bankrupt subculture.
on May 3,2013 | 09:39PM
W15 wrote:
allie -- i respectfully disagree. this was not "all too predictable." this was not a case where a trial judge clearly acted contrary to existing law, by virtue of the fact that existing hawaii law at the time provided very little guidance on whether to provide this type of jury instruction. this issue of a court providing instructions to the jury about parole was an unsettled area of law in hawaii. hawaii statutes and prior case law at the time the earlier sentence was handed down were nearly silent on this issue. in fact, the law has been in flux -- on a national level -- since the early 2000s. in this particular case, even hawaii courts were split on the issue. the trial court allowed the jury instruction, and the intermediate court of appeal agreed. the hawaii supreme court ultimately disagreed that the instruction was appropriate, but it should be noted that it was a split 3-2 decision. hardly a unanimous and authoritative mandate from our high court. there may yet be future cases -- or even legislation -- to address this issue. this was not, therefore, a case that showed "weak and poorly educated" judges. this was an area of law where hawaii had no precedent, and where even courts from other jurisdictions have come to different conclusions on. this ultimately was an issue that needed to weave its way through our appellate courts to help settle a previously unsettled area of law.
on May 3,2013 | 11:17PM
BRock wrote:
I doubt if you have spent much time in court rooms.
on May 4,2013 | 11:41AM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
And not so much as being placed on a registry while the man he killed cannot get his life back. He get's his life back with very little stigma except for maybe a few jobs rejecting him because of a criminal record. Killers get very little stigma for their action. Why is it that murderers do not have to be on a registry? It is obvious that we use the registry to further punish offenders. So why not add murderers to the list? To me, their crime is just as heinous as they not only assault their victims but they take their lives. What could be worse than losing your life?
on May 4,2013 | 11:16AM
silvangold wrote:
....out soon enuf to commit more manslaughter and/or murder crimes?
on May 3,2013 | 02:28PM
Hawaiians wrote:
I don't get it- if someone takes a life it's only fair they do life. Now we're just slapping wrists. Yes America our system is failing us
on May 3,2013 | 05:36PM
sailfish1 wrote:
Another mistake by the Hawaii courts. Why are our judges and court system so inept?
on May 3,2013 | 05:53PM
ejkorvette wrote:
Lucky You Live Hawaii!!!!
on May 3,2013 | 07:16PM
Kaluu wrote:
Stabbing, stabbing, stabbing! What da heck? Is my memory going, or is using knives in brawls escalating in Hawaii? What's going on? Have I just failed to notice so much of it in the news?
on May 3,2013 | 07:31PM
Thegame wrote:
So because of the trial court's mistake, a killer gets a reduced sentence??? Someone should get fired for endangering the public.
on May 3,2013 | 09:00PM
bumba wrote:
Easy to get ono the bandwagon and trash this guy, but the facts are: Wilcox was bigger, stronger and younger than Keohokapu. Wilcox took off his shirt, put his hands up and started prancing around like a boxer, making the typical "big body". Keohokaapu warned him to leave him alone. Wilcox, drunk, came at Keohokapu, and got his butt handed to him.
on May 4,2013 | 04:59AM
boshio wrote:
Incredible news.
on May 4,2013 | 07:05AM
baileygirl9631 wrote:
If you murder someone, you should lose your life too.
on May 4,2013 | 09:42AM
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