Friday, November 2, 2001

Witness to Kauai
death testifies

He says the stabbing suspect was
upset at the victim over liquor

By Anthony Sommer

LIHUE >> "He was mad. I mean it was like he wanted to fight with somebody," Billy Pierce told Kauai detectives investigating the fatal stabbing of Brent "Kerby" Kerr.

Pierce was trying to explain why William Lowell McCrory stabbed Kerr at an industrial area at Nawiliwili Harbor on Friday morning.

McCrory, 45, was bound over to Circuit Court for trial on a charge of second-degree murder yesterday by District Judge Trudy Senda. He remains in custody in lieu of $50,000 bail.

Pierce is the only eyewitness to the killing. He, McCrory and Kerr all are homeless and frequent the Nawiliwili area.

Pierce said he and McCrory had been drinking all day and there are long periods of the day he cannot remember.

Pierce said the only reason he could see for the killing was that McCrory was angry at Kerr for constantly asking him for free liquor.

Pierce said he was a passenger in McCrory's car when they drove up to a van in which Kerr was living. It was dark and raining very hard, he recalled.

"He come right out and ask me for my knife, so I hand it to him," Pierce told detectives.

Transcripts of his statement became public yesterday when he testified in court.

"I was thinking, well, he just gonna, you know, hit the guy with it or scare him or something. And then next thing I hear is this screaming and ruckus and I can ... can hear the knife going into him, you know."

An autopsy showed Kerr, 44, died from two stab wounds to the chest and back.

Pierce said they put Kerr in McCrory's truck intending to hide the body on the north shore. But they ran out of gas in Wailua.

Realizing they were going to have to leave the car on the roadside while they walked to a nearby gas station, they hid Kerr's body in some brush.

After they bought gas and drove away, Pierce said McCrory told him to throw the knife in the ocean. Pierce said he couldn't bring himself to do it.

"I kept it for sentimental reasons," he testified yesterday. "A girlfriend gave it to me."

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