A 37-year-old mother of six children pleaded guilty yesterday to manslaughter for stabbing her husband in the neck with a steak knife as he slept, prosecutors said.
Sabrina Fiaai had been charged with second-degree murder, but as part of a plea agreement in Circuit Court, she will receive a 20-year prison term for manslaughter on April 4.
Second-degree murder carries a mandatory life term in prison with parole.
Abe Fiaai, 36, physically abused his wife, deputy public defender Todd Eddins said. After one beating in the late 1980s, Sabrina Fiaai needed 42 stitches, he said. But prosecutors ruled out self-defense in the stabbing last Feb. 7 at the home of a relative in Makakilo, saying there had been no indication of discord immediately before the incident.
Abe Fiaai was sleeping on the floor, his niece told police, when the niece went upstairs to bed and 30 minutes later heard Sabrina Fiaai yell, "Abe ... die now!"
The couples 9-year-old son, asleep on the couch, awoke to see the knife sticking out of his fathers neck, prosecutors said.
Sabrina Fiaai was discovered by police crouching by a neighbors fence with her two infant children.
Eddins said his client, who calmly answered questions put to her in court yesterday, is "extremely remorseful" and accepted the plea so her family would not have to endure a trial.
"The prospect of putting them through a trial was her primary consideration," he said. Although Sabrina Fiaai had been battered by her husband, Eddins said chances would have been slim for an acquittal based on self-defense.