Tuesday, January 23, 2001
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Posted on: Tuesday, January 23, 2001

Kailua wife killer gets 15 years to life

By William Cole
Advertiser Courts Writer

Danny Haili, convicted of second-degree murder after prosecutors said he shot point-blank 11 times at his wife in the couple’s Kailua carport in 1996, was sentenced to 15 years to life yesterday.

"This is a classic domestic violence execution-type case," city deputy prosecutor Maurice Arrisgado said after the mandatory life sentence in Circuit Court. "Mr. Haili was going to lose his wife, and he planned and prepared to kill her and that’s exactly what he did.

"She basically didn’t have a chance," added Arrisgado, saying it was not unlike the recent shooting of Cherry Ann Cachola Domingo at Ala Moana Center by her ex-boyfriend, Michell Udani.

Circuit Judge Karen Ahn granted Arrisgado’s request for a minimum 15-year term without parole for the use of a firearm in the crime.

Defense attorney Sam King Jr. said the case was never so clear-cut. It took two trials before Haili, 54, was convicted in November of the murder of his 50-year-old wife, Philimena.

King had argued that his client became enraged and was under extreme mental stress when he shot his wife of 33 years after learning she was having an affair. The couple had three children.

"The night it occurred, Danny said to the cops, Tonight my wife said she’s having an affair,’ " King said. "I think that’s what did it. I think that’s what flipped him out."

But prosecutors characterized Haili as a controlling husband who physically abused his wife, had put a gun to her head in the past and chased her through the house before shooting her.

After emptying the .32-caliber revolver of bullets, Haili went inside the house, reloaded, and fired again at his wife, prosecutors said.

King said the conviction is being appealed based in part on hearsay evidence by the victim’s sister and friends that Haili threatened his wife.

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