A state jury on Thursday found a Honolulu hip-hop dancer not guilty of fatally stabbing a friend in a stairwell at Ala Moana Center.
Jacob Le, 28, who was standing trial for the second time in the Oct. 3, 2012 murder of 23-year-old Brent Keolaokalani “Ola” Kanae, recanted his police confession that he fatally stabbed Kanae.
Le testified in Circuit Court on Wednesday that he confessed and demonstrated the crime to police because detectives confused and pressured him.
Police say Le confessed and showed them how he put his right hand on Kanae’s right shoulder from behind, then reached around with his left hand to thrust a knife three times into Kanae’s chest while his friend was talking on the telephone.
Kanae bled to death after suffering three wounds to the chest that punctured his heart, a lung and an artery.
A passerby found Kanae in a second-level stairwell near Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., where Kanae worked as a line cook. An ambulance transported Kanae to the Queen’s Medical Center, where he later died.
Le’s first trial in 2013 ended with the jurors deadlocked 11-1 for conviction. He did not testify in that trial.
Le and Kanae were members of the hip-hop dance group Dance Floor Assassins.