Conviction upheld in Kahealani's death
The Hawai'i Supreme Court yesterday affirmed the manslaughter conviction in the slaying of 11-year-old Kahealani Indreginal, whose body was found in December 2002 off the 'Aiea Loop Trail.
Christopher Aki, 24, was convicted of manslaughter in the beating death of Kahealani, whose disappearance from her Halawa home triggered a massive search until her body was found three days later.
Aki had been charged with murder, but a Circuit Court jury found him guilty on the lesser offense of manslaughter. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison. The Hawai'i Paroling Authority later decided that he must serve 19 of the 20 years before he is eligible for parole.
In his appeal, Aki contended that his statements to police should not have been introduced at trial. His lawyers also contended he was not able to fully develop his defense that another man admitted to killing the girl.
The high court ruled that Aki's statements were admissible. The court also ruled that the way the trial judge handled the allegations about the other man did not warrant a reversal of the conviction.