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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Friday, November 2, 2001

Witnesses tell of events leading to Kaua'i stabbing death

By Jan TenBruggencate
Advertiser Kaua‘i Bureau

LIHU'E, Kaua'i — Brent Kerr died in a bloody, drunken murder in the pouring rain, just outside the parked van where he slept, a judge was told yesterday.

That was the testimony yesterday at a preliminary hearing for the man charged in Kerr's death.

District Judge Trudy Senda yesterday found after the hearing that there was probable cause to proceed with murder charges against William "Billy" McCrory, 45, in the death early last Friday in Nawiliwili.

William "Billy" Pierce, who said he was a friend of both Kerr and McCrory, told the court he had been drinking vodka with Kerr, 44, as early as 8 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 25, and met him again later, when Pierce kept drinking until he either lost consciousness or his memory blacked out.

Hours later, Pierce was asleep in the Bronco of his other friend, McCrory.

Christine Taniguchi, who said McCrory sometimes worked with her husband, testified that McCrory came to her home at 12:30 a.m. Oct. 26. He was drunk, bleeding from a cut foot and asked to borrow a knife.

She said she patched up his inujuries, which he said he had received in a fight with another man, who he said he intended to kill. He wanted to kill the man because the man constantly borrowed money, Taniguchi said.

"I just told him, 'No get stupid,'" Taniguchi said.

She later added: "I told him he's got to get a grip on his drinking."

She would not lend him a knife, and he drove away with Pierce apparently still asleep in his vehicle.

Pierce testified that he did not know the time when he was awakened by McCrory and asked for his folding knife.

He said the Bronco had parked next to Kerr's van. Pierce said he saw McCrory take the knife and knock on the back door of the van. He said he saw Kerr come out, and saw McCrory strike Kerr. Then his view of the two men was obscured by heavy rain.

"I heard noises like hits . . . like thuds," Pierce said.

He said McCrory told him to help load Kerr's bleeding body into the front of the Bronco, which they drove until it ran out of gas fronting the Coco Palms Hotel.

Pierce said they dumped the body in bushes, where it was later found. An autopsy determined Kerr died of multiple stab wounds, including one through the chest that punctured his aorta, and one through the back that punctured a lung.

A retired jail guard told the court he found two men at a gas station near the Coco Palms, and lent Pierce money for gas.

Detective Sam Sheldon said that when police searched McCrory's Bronco, they found blood pooled on the floor of the front passenger seat, and blood staining both doors, the dashboard and the steering wheel.

McCrory was arrested Sunday night and charged Monday morning with second-degree murder.

The case will be moved to the 5th Circuit Court. McCrory is being held in lieu of $50,000 bail.