Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 12:28 p.m., Friday, May 26, 2006

Kaua'i man sentenced to life in prison for fatal stabbing

Advertiser Staff

LIHU'E, Kaua'i — A Kalaheo man who fatally stabbed an 18-year-old woman last year at Glass Beach near Port Allen was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.

Tourists found the body of Weslyn Jerves on Jan. 13, 2005. When first interviewed by police later that evening, Richard Costa, 37, denied taking the woman to Glass Beach. Several days later Costa confessed that he had given Jerves a ride from Hanama'ulu to the beach. He told police they argued after he tried to collect $20 Jerves owed him, and that the woman pulled a knife. The two fought over the weapon, Costa said, and he stabbed her several times and accidentally cut her neck when she tried to twist out of a headlock.

In an April 24 verdict, Kaua'i jurors rejected Costa's claim that he acted in self-defense or was suffering from a mental disorder or an extreme emotional disturbance at the time of the killing. He was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced by 5th Circuit Judge Kathleen Watanabe yesterday.