Son admits hatchet killing
His father refused to give him money for "ice," the suspect's brother told police
A WAIPAHU man admitted killing his father and attacking his mother with a hatchet over the weekend after earlier asking his father for money to buy drugs, according to a police affidavit.
Mark Kawakami, 43, made an initial appearance in Honolulu District Court yesterday on a charge of second-degree murder in the death of 79-year-old Sueo Kawakami.
He also is charged with first- and second-degree attempted murder in the attack on his father and for allegedly critically injuring his mother, 76-year-old Janet Kawakami, early Saturday at the family home at 94-544 Niulii St.
Sueo Kawakami was pronounced dead at the St. Francis West Medical Center at 3:55 a.m. Saturday, while Janet Kawakami was listed in serious condition at the Queen's Medical Center.
According to an affidavit filed in court yesterday, the suspect's brother, Stan Kawakami, told police his brother has mental problems and uses methamphetamine, and that the day before the attacks the father had refused to give him money to buy drugs.
The affidavit states that Stan Kawakami was sleeping in his bedroom at about 2:30 a.m. Saturday when he heard his brother yelling in the front room, where his parents sleep.
According to the affidavit, Stan Kawakami came out of his bedroom to check what was happening and was confronted by his brother, who was standing in the hallway holding a hatchet.
Mark Kawakami said he had just killed their parents and threatened to kill him, too, according to the affidavit. Stan Kawakami said he went back into his bedroom and brought out a knife to protect himself, and that when his brother saw him with the knife, he took off in their father's 1994 four-door Honda station wagon.
Stan Kawakami then went into the living room and saw his father bleeding profusely with several head wounds, according to the affidavit. He also saw his mother lying on one of the sofas, badly bleeding from wounds to the back of her neck, it said.
While Stan Kawakami was calling 911, his brother drove to the Pearl City police station at 1100 Waimano Home Road.
The affidavit states that at 3:10 a.m., Mark Kawakami entered the station and was recognized by Sgt. Roger Nitta, who knew him from childhood.
According to the affidavit, Kawakami told Nitta, "I just killed my (expletive) parents. Send the cops to my house," and that he had killed his parents with an ax that was in the car outside.
Nitta noticed blood on Kawakami's hands and also on his legs and feet, the affidavit said.
When police checked the Honda, they found a red-handled hatchet lying on some newspapers in the front passenger seat, according to the affidavit.
A source close to the investigation said Kawakami was a high school dropout who was unemployed for most of his life and had mental health problems that were made worse by crystal meth use.
In addition to the murder and attempted-murder charges, Kawakami was charged yesterday with first-degree terroristic threatening.
In 1996, Kawakami pleaded no contest to assaulting a family member but had it expunged from his record as part of a court agreement. The family member was not his mother or father.
He was also arrested for assault in 1999 but never charged.
His bail was set at $100,000.