A state jury deliberated less than an hour Thursday before finding a 38-year-old Waipahu man guilty of manslaughter in the 2010 New Year’s Day shooting death of his friend.
Chadwick Tadly was on trial in Circuit Court for second-degree murder for shooting 22-year-old Kamuela Kaleikilo in the head at close range in Tadly’s Kunia Palms apartment. The two men and others had been drinking in the apartment to celebrate the new year.
Tadly did not testify during the trial. However, he told police the shooting was an accident.
He said Kaleikilo was being unruly and violent, so he held a gun to Kaleikilo’s head to calm him down and get him to leave.
Tadly told police the gun went off accidentally when Kaleikilo reached for it.
"This was a manslaughter case all the way," said Nelson Goo, Tadly’s lawyer.
A person who had gone to Tadly’s apartment with Kaleikilo left after the shooting and made two anonymous calls to police to report the shooting. He made the second call after police officers left the apartment complex without finding any sign of the shooting.
When police went to Tadly’s apartment, at least an hour after the shooting, they found Kaleikilo making gurgling sounds as he lay in a pool of blood. Police found Tadly in the bathroom and Tadly’s 17-year-old son and 18-year-old friend, who both witnessed the shooting, in a bedroom.
Goo said none of the people in the apartment called for police or an ambulance because they were in shock, and Tadly was drunk and scared.
"(Kaleikilo) was going to die anyway. The damage from the gunshot was so massive. And that came out in the testimony from the medical examiner. So it wouldn’t have mattered," Goo said.
Tadly faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced in June. And because he used a firearm in the killing, the judge could require him to serve up to 10 years behind bars without the opportunity for parole.