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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, March 23, 2006

Killing was justified, prosecutor rules

By Curtis Lum
Advertiser Staff Writer

The city prosecutor's office will not pursue charges against a man who fatally stabbed an intruder Sunday, saying the man acted in self-defense.

The 25-year-old man was arrested on one count of second-degree murder after he stabbed Gregory Hunter in the man's Dole Street apartment.

Hunter, 26, died about an hour later at The Queen's Medical Center of wounds to his heart and lung.

The man was booked at the main police station, but was released pending further investigation Monday morning. Yesterday, city Prosecutor Peter Carlisle said he will not file charges, and he considered the case closed.

Carlisle said the man "was justified in the use of deadly force to protect himself and his girlfriend from death or serious bodily injury. In my opinion, it was a very easy call."

Hunter went to the Dole Street apartment twice on Sunday, Carlisle said. In the first incident, Hunter was "in a rage" and tried to hit the man, Carlisle said.

Hunter broke a louver during the attack and the man was in the process of fixing the window when Hunter returned later in the afternoon.

Carlisle said the man and his girlfriend did not know why Hunter appeared at their home.

While he was working on the louver, the man "suddenly saw Mr. Hunter sprinting towards him at full speed," Carlisle said. The man attempted to flee into his apartment and close the door, but Hunter forced his way in and knocked over the girlfriend, Carlisle said.

By then, the man had grabbed two kitchen knives, and the two men got into a scuffle. While they were wrestling on the floor, Hunter was stabbed in the chest.

Under Hawai'i law, the man was justified in defending himself, Carlisle said.

"The use of deadly force is justifiable if the actor believes that deadly force is necessary to protect himself against death, serious bodily injury, kidnapping, rape or forcible sodomy," Carlisle said.

In addition to not pressing charges, Carlisle said he has asked the attorney general's office to expunge the arrest from the man's record.

Carlisle blamed the attack on Hunter's addiction to "ice." An autopsy revealed that Hunter had the drug in his system, he said.

"In a very real, if not legal sense, the decedent, Gregory Hunter, lost his life due to rage, delusions and paranoia caused by his own crystal methamphetamine intoxication," he said.

Carlisle said he had not spoken with Hunter's family.

"But I have reason to believe that they are aware of the circumstances that led to the death of their family member," he said.

Reach Curtis Lum at culum@honoluluadvertiser.com.