Kauai man pleads guilty in stabbing death of wife
By Paul Curtis
The Garden Island
LIHUE — A 51-year-old Lihue man admitted in court Monday that he killed his wife last March, pleading guilty to second-degree murder.
Under terms of the plea agreement, Joseph Hoapili Sr. will likely receive a sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole when he is sentenced March 25, said county Prosecuting Attorney Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho.
Hoapili’s sentence will include a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison before being eligible for parole because he is a repeat offender with a prior drug conviction, said Iseri-Carvalho.
“It was a just resolution for all parties involved,” she said.
When 5th District Judge Randal Valenciano asked Hoapili why he was changing his plea, Hoapili said, “because I killed my wife,” said Iseri-Carvalho.
Hoapili, represented by state deputy public defender John Calma, also did not dispute the state’s recitation of facts of the case, said Iseri-Carvalho.
Calma did not want to comment after the proceeding.
Hoapili was arrested and charged with second-degree murder early on the morning of March 3, 2009 in connection with the stabbing death of his wife, Fredlynn Hoapili, 53, in their Kress Street home in Lihue.
Iseri-Carvalho said Fredlynn Hoapili was asleep in her bed when Joseph Hoapili Sr., her husband of 35 years, jumped on her and started stabbing her repeatedly.
She woke up screaming for help. Adult son John Hoapili heard the cries and tried to enter the bedroom but the door was locked. He broke the door down, witnessed his father stab his mother repeatedly, and yelled at the father to stop, Iseri-Carvalho said.
John Hoapili told his father he would call 911, and Joseph Hoapili Sr. continued stabbing his wife in his son’s presence, said Iseri-Carvalho.
While John Hoapili was speaking to Kauai Police Department dispatch personnel on the telephone, his father briefly left the room, then came back and continued stabbing his wife, who was not moving by that time, Iseri-Carvalho said.
Autopsy results showed Fredlynn Hoapili died as a result of 18 sharp-force wounds to her heart, lungs, liver, stomach and kidney, as well as other cuts on her arm and leg, said Iseri-Carvalho.
There had been a history of domestic violence in the Hoapili family, and John Hoapili testified at a preliminary hearing that his father had suspected his mother of “fooling around” and generally only behaved erratically after smoking crystal methamphetamine.
However, the defendant took a drug and alcohol test five hours after the incident and tested negative for any drugs or alcohol, Iseri-Carvalho said.
As Hoapili family members disrupted earlier court proceedings in the case, Valenciano again asked for additional state sheriffs to be present in the courtroom Monday morning.
Around five Hoapili family members and friends were present, and there were no incidents.