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Thursday, May 19, 2005



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COURTESY OF THE KIPAPA FAMILY
The body of former sumo wrestler Percy Kipapa was found slumped over the steering wheel of a pickup truck in Kahuluu on Monday. Kipapa is shown here at center during his sumo career in Japan in 1996.




Slain man
ex-sumo wrestler

Percy Kipapa, known as Daiki,
was found dead in a truck
from multiple stab wounds

The 31-year-old man stabbed to death in a truck Monday night in Kahaluu was retired sumo wrestler Percy Kipapa, whose professional wrestling name was Daiki.

His mother, Priscilla, described the 410-pound Kipapa as a "gentle giant who would never hurt anyone."

Kipapa wrestled for about 10 years in Japan and was in the top junior division.

Kipapa's body was found slumped over the steering wheel of a 1991 red GMC pickup truck about 9 p.m. Monday night on Okana Road. Kipapa died at the scene with multiple stab wounds to the chest and stomach.

The suspect identified in a police affidavit as Kealiiokalani Meheula, 30, was charged yesterday with second-degree murder in Kipapa's death. His bail was set at $150,000 and he is scheduled to appear in court this morning.

At the scene, Venda Meheula, the suspect's mother, told police her son and Kipapa dropped her off at the Okana Road house.

Police said the two men then went to the Kahaluu 7-Eleven and bought a bag of candy.

Venda Meheula told police that about 9 p.m., she saw the red pickup fronting the driveway and found Kipapa alone inside the red pickup slumped over the wheel.

Another woman who lives at the Okana Road house told a detective that before police and an ambulance arrived, Kealiiokalani Meheula walked up her driveway with a knife in his hand and told her he had stabbed Kipapa, the police document said.

A resident on nearby Pahia Road told police a man came to his apartment and asked him to call his sister. The man got on the phone with his sister, identified himself as Kealii and, after a short conversation, walked toward Kaneohe Fire Station, which is a block away.

About 9:45 p.m., police were called to the Kaneohe Fire Station, where Meheula had shown up with what appeared to be a stab wound on his right thigh.

Meheula told police he did not know anything that happened before he arrived at the fire station and did not know how he got the injury.

Meheula was taken by ambulance to Castle Medical Center for treatment of his injury. Police said he was incoherent and had to be sedated.

Homicide Lt. Bill Kato had said Tuesday he did not know whether Meheula's wound was self-inflicted.

Police arrested Meheula on Tuesday morning on suspicion of second-degree murder.

Kato said the two men had known each other since high school. But Kipapa's mother, Priscilla, said Meheula was a recent friend with whom he went pig hunting.

Priscilla Kipapa said her son was retired from the sport and returned to Hawaii from Japan about 1997 or 1998, suffering from appendicitis and knee injuries. After his return, he worked for a tour company using his fluent Japanese.

He then began the practice of lomi lomi massage. She said he learned about massage and pressure points while in Japan.

"He had a gift in his hands," she said.

Kipapa said she cannot see her son until after an autopsy is performed.

"I felt so hurt that I cannot be there for him," she said.



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