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Ex-girlfriend says she hid before killing

  • CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM
    Rusty Anoba took the witness stand yesterday in the murder trial of Daniel Kahanaoi, who is accused of gunning down attorney Craig Kimsel in April. Anoba said both men were her boyfriends at one time.
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The woman at the center of the murder case against Daniel Kahanaoi said she was behind a locked bedroom door watching images from a surveillance camera when Craig Kimsel was gunned down in his home.

Kahanaoi, 46, is on trial in Circuit Court on a second-degree murder charge in Kimsel’s death on April 28. His lawyer says Kahanaoi shot Kimsel, an attorney, in self-defense.

Rusty Anoba told police she was Kahanaoi’s girlfriend but had left him the night before and that Kahanaoi was looking for her at Kimsel’s house. Kimsel was her boyfriend before Kahanaoi.

Kimsel’s family said Kimsel had fortified his home to protect himself from Kahanaoi. He and Anoba had each sought restraining orders against Kahanaoi, and Anoba’s was still in effect.

On the night of the shooting, police said, Kimsel unlocked the gate to his driveway to let someone else in when Kahanaoi slipped through.

Kimsel was not afraid of Kahanaoi and intended to let him in, otherwise, "he would not have allowed (Kahanaoi) to follow him back into the driveway," Anoba said yesterday. "Maybe Craig was willing to talk to him or something."

Anoba said she lost sight of both men when they walked out of camera view and entered the house.

In both a statement she wrote on the night of the shooting and in interviews with police, Anoba said she then heard Kimsel yell, "Get the f— out of my house," followed by two gunshots.

But on the witness stand yesterday, she said she was not so sure.

"After thinking about it this whole year, replaying it over and over in my head, I’m really not sure that that’s what I heard," Anoba said.

She said she has talked with Kahanaoi several times since the shooting but says he did not ask her to lie for him.

Anoba said yesterday she heard the sounds of some kind of a struggle in the house before the two shots.

A witness who was in the house testified earlier that there was no struggle, that Kahanaoi shot Kimsel as Kimsel was turning away. Eric Strandtman said Kahanaoi shot Kimsel a second time when Kimsel was lying motionless on the floor.

When police arrived at Kimsel’s Oneawa Street home, Anoba identified Kahanaoi as the assailant and told them what kind of vehicle he was driving and where he was probably headed.

After police arrested Kahanaoi, Anoba told them if Kahanaoi gets out on bail, "this man will kill me."

Anoba said yesterday she made that statement because she was scared, confused, in shock and blamed herself for Kimsel’s death. She said she was not afraid of Kahanaoi and that she hid in Kimsel’s home because she did not want Kahanaoi to think she went there to smoke. She said Kimsel smoked some methamphetamine when she was there.

She also testified yesterday that she did not leave Kahanaoi and that she intended to return to his home on the night of the shooting.

The night before, when Anoba said she slept at her daughter’s place, she said she talked to Kahanaoi on the telephone. In her written statement, grand jury testimony and interviews with police, she said Kahanaoi threatened to kill her and Kimsel if he caught her at Kimsel’s home.

But yesterday, Anoba said Kahanaoi never threatened to kill her or Kimsel. She said Kahanaoi told her, "You know what’s going to happen if I catch you."

When Deputy Prosecutor Jeen Kwak asked her what that meant, Anoba said she didn’t know.

 

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