Daniel Kahanaoi said a gun went off when he slipped and the bullet struck Kailua attorney Craig Kimsel, and then he claimed to have fired a second shot to defend himself, but a jury apparently did not buy it yesterday.
Kahanaoi was found guilty of second-degree murder.
"It’s not really closure. Nothing’s going to bring my son back," Barbara Ankersmit, Kimsel’s mother, said after the verdict.
She said she does not hate Kahanaoi, but does not understand why he killed her son, and is relieved that the jury found him guilty.
In addition to second-degree murder, Kahanaoi, 46, was found guilty of first-degree burglary for entering Kimsel’s fortified home and for using a firearm to commit both crimes.
The state has asked Circuit Judge Glenn Kim to impose enhanced or stiffer-than-normal penalties when he sentences Kahanaoi in September. Kim ordered the jurors to return to court Tuesday for a hearing to determine whether Kahanaoi is eligible for longer prison terms for the protection of the community and because he committed more than one felony.
The mandatory prison terms for second-degree murder and using a firearm to commit a felony are life with the opportunity for parole and 20 years, respectively. The maximum prison term for first-degree burglary is 10 years.
If the jury determines Kahanaoi deserves enhanced penalties, Kim could sentence him to life in prison with no opportunity for parole for the murder, life in prison with the opportunity for parole for the use of a firearm, and 20 years for the burglary.
The state argued Kahanaoi slipped through the gate to Kimsel’s driveway when Kimsel unlocked it to let someone else in.
Kahanaoi said he went to Kimsel’s Oneawa Street home April 28, 2009, to pick up his girlfriend Rusty Anoba, who was hiding in Kimsel’s bedroom. Anoba had a restraining order against Kahanaoi.
He said Kimsel invited him in and then pulled a gun on him. Kahanaoi said the gun went off accidentally when he grabbed it away from Kimsel. He said he then shot Kimsel in the back because Kimsel appeared to be reaching for a knife.
A witness who was doing some home renovation for Kimsel said there was no struggle and that Kahanaoi first shot Kimsel as Kimsel was turning away and again when Kimsel was lying face-down on the floor.