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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, January 21, 2010

Slain woman 'covered with bruises'

Advertiser Staff

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Kevin H. Dale

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A Waikíkí man who was charged Tuesday with second-degree murder in connection with the beating death of a 33-year-old O'ahu woman had been ordered by a state court judge in May to stay away from the woman for 20 years.

Kevin H. Dale, 44, remained in police custody yesterday, with bail set at $1 million, after being charged with murder in the beating death of Christi Hokoana, who was described in court papers as Dale's former girlfriend.

Hokoana's mother, Harmonye, said her daughter, who was mentally challenged, had been staying at her home on Kína'u Street.

"Her landlady went to the Philippines for 10 days, so she was staying with me and her uncle — my brother — while the landlady was away," Harmonye Hokoana said.

She said her daughter left the Kína'u Street home about 9 or 10 a.m. Jan. 9 and caught a bus to Ala Moana Center.

There, she ran into Dale, who apparently persuaded her to go to his Ala Wai Boulevard apartment in Waikíkí.

"The police told us they got into an argument at the apartment," Harmonye Hokoana said.

The next time she saw her daughter, she was lying in a hospital bed in the intensive care unit of The Queen's Medical Center.

"She was just covered with bruises, all over her head, her face, her shoulders. They told us her jaw had been broken," Hokoana said.

Christi Hokoana died Jan. 15 at The Queen's Medical Center, the first homicide victim of the year on O'ahu.

According to a police affidavit filed in District Court in connection with the case, a police officer was sent to Dale's apartment the afternoon of Jan. 9 after receiving a report that a woman there was unconscious.


Dale introduced himself to the officer as "Kevin Henderson" and said he had been arguing with Christi Hokoana regarding her current boyfriend. He told the officer that Hokoana appeared to be under the influence of a "street drug" and had fallen, striking her chin on a table in his apartment , according to the affidavit.

Dale told the police officer that he watched Hokoana vomit bile and that a friend, Bree Evans, recommended during a telephone conversation that he call an ambulance. The ambulance arrived and transported Hokoana to Queen's "where she was diagnosed with a large contusion to the back of her head, bleeding around the brain due to the head trauma and severe, global swelling of the brain. She also had a large laceration to her chin, a scratch to the left side of her neck and several bruises on her arms, shoulders and hip," according to the affidavit.

On Jan. 11, a doctor in the Queen's intensive care unit who was treating Hokoana called police to say her injuries were not consistent with a description of events provided by Dale, according to the affidavit.

The doctor told police he did not think Hokoana would survive.

The same day, police interviewed Evans, who confirmed she spoke with Dale on the phone. She said she entered Dale's apartment and found Hokoana lying nude in the middle of the floor. She said Hokoana was stiff and making snoring sounds and that she called 911 to request an ambulance, according to the affidavit.

Evans told police she used her cell phone to take six photographs of Hokoana as she lay on the floor.

"Evans said she asked Dale if he had done anything to Hokoana, but ... Dale did not answer," the affidavit said.


Police continued to conduct interviews and on Jan. 12, talked to one of Dale's neighbors who lives in an adjoining apartment.

The woman told a detective that she was in her apartment between 10 and 11 a.m. Jan. 9 and heard what sounded like an argument involving Dale, who was in the hallway leading to his apartment.

"She said that she only heard Dale's voice and that the only thing she could remember being said was, 'You're in love with someone else,'" according to the police affidavit. The neighbor said that statement was followed immediately by "loud banging and thumping" coming from Dale's apartment, including what sounded like pounding on the wall and floor, the affidavit said.

According to the affidavit, police also interviewed Rockwelle Hokoana, Christi Hokoana's uncle and legal guardian on Jan. 13. The uncle said Christi Hokoana was mentally disabled, suffers from a seizure disorder and was deemed to be a mentally incapacitated adult.

He said his niece left his home about 8 a.m. to go to Ala Moana Center. He said he was notified later that she was in the hospital. "He further added that Hokoana did not have any bruises on her arms when she left his residence ...," the affidavit said.

It said that Rockwelle Hokoana had obtained a court protective order in April 2009 on behalf of his niece against Dale after he allegedly assaulted her about a week earlier. The protective order was served on Dale in May 2009 and carried an expiration date of July 20, 2029.


Police obtained a search warrant and on Jan. 14, entered Dale's apartment and found traces of a "blood-like" substance on the inside door, carpet and chair, according to the affidavit.

Queen's notified police on Friday that Christi Hokoana had died.

"The doctors told us her brain was dead, that it had died and that there was no way they could bring her back," her mother said yesterday.

In a rare Sunday autopsy, city deputy medical examiner Dr. Gayle Suzuki reported finding signs of blunt force trauma to Hokoana's head and concluded that her death was a homicide.

Dale was arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder about 2:20 p.m. Monday at Queen's hospital where he was undergoing a psychological evaluation for unspecified reasons.

Hokoana worked at Goodwill Industries of Hawaii Inc. on Kilihau Street in Mäpunapuna.

Other than acknowledging that Hokoana worked there, Laura Kay Rand, vice president of corporate services for Goodwill, said she could not release any other information.

"We offer our condolences to the family, and we're cooperating with the investigation," she said. "But other than that, we can't say anything because of confidentiality."