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Accused killer claims accident and self-defense

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Accused murderer Daniel Kahanaoi says he took off his shoes before he entered Kailua lawyer Craig Kimsel’s home, where he said he shot Kimsel first by accident and a second time because he thought he saw the victim pulling a knife.

The first shot passed through Kimsel’s neck; the second hit him in the back.

Kahanaoi, 46, is on trial in Circuit Court on second-degree murder charges for fatally shooting Kimsel on April 28, 2009.

He testified in his own defense yesterday that he went to Kimsel’s Oneawa Street home looking for his girlfriend, Rusty Anoba. When he arrived, Kahanaoi said, Kimsel confirmed Anoba was there and invited him onto his property and into his home.

Kahanaoi said he took his shoes off in accordance with custom and because he noticed Kimsel had a new rug.

Inside the home, he said, Kimsel reached for a handgun that was tucked in the waistband of his shorts.

Deputy City Prosecutor Jeen Kwak showed the jurors pictures of the gray gym shorts with elastic waistband Kimsel was wearing.

Kahanaoi said he grabbed the gun and pushed Kimsel away. "I pushed him and kinda ran back, and I slipped and the gun went off," Kahanaoi said.

He said he slipped because his feet were covered only with socks.

The shot passed through Kimsel’s neck, exiting on the right side.

Kahanaoi’s lawyer, John Schum, replayed for the jury a recording of the 911 call Kimsel made just before he was shot.

The jurors heard Kimsel ask police to send an officer to his home and give his address. They then heard his say, "He’s got a …" Those were Kimsel’s last words.

The recording continued because Kimsel’s telephone remained on.

The jurors then heard someone else in the background say, "Call 911." Kahanaoi said that was him.

He said the first shot was an accident. He said he fired the second shot because Kimsel "was reaching for what I thought was a knife."

The second shot hit Kimsel in the back.

Kahanaoi said he was in shock over what had happened. He said he put his shoes on, walked out of the home and into his vehicle. He said he drove on some back roads near Kalaheo High School where he threw away the gun, then went to visit his daughter, where police arrested him.

Police have not recovered the handgun.

Anoba was supposed to return to the witness stand Thursday, this time as a defense witness, and testify before Kahanaoi. She failed to appear.

Circuit Judge Glenn Kim gave Schum until yesterday to bring Anoba to court.

Schum said he could not locate her. He said Anoba had agreed to testify on Kahanaoi’s behalf before trial, but after she testified as a prosecution witness, she did not like the way she was portrayed in the media.


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