Man justified in fatal stabbing of intruder
The city prosecutor will seek to expunge the arrest from the resident's record
A 26-year-old man was "clearly justified" in fatally stabbing an intruder who forced his way into the man's Date Street apartment Sunday and attacked the two occupants, prosecutors have concluded.
City Prosecutor Peter Carlisle announced yesterday that based on the findings of Honolulu police and a review by his office, prosecutors will not press charges against the man and have closed the case.
The resident "was justified in the use of deadly force to protect himself and his girlfriend from serious bodily injury," Carlisle said. (The Star-Bulletin is not identifying the man because he was not charged with a crime.)
Carlisle attributed the death of 25-year-old Greg Hunter to "rage, delusions and paranoia caused by his own crystal methamphetamine intoxication."
Even though it appeared that the resident was defending himself, police arrested him Sunday, saying they were obligated to investigate since lethal force was involved. The man, who was arrested for suspicion of second-degree murder, spent a night in jail and was released Monday pending further investigation.
While it was unclear why Hunter targeted the Dole Street walk-up, he had stopped by earlier that day "in a rage" and tried to hit the resident, Carlisle said. The resident and his girlfriend did not know Hunter.
Hunter returned 40 minutes later, broke the front window of the unit and tried to reach in and open the door, Carlisle said.
The resident called police, but Hunter had fled before officers arrived. The resident filled out an incident report, and police said officers tried to locate Hunter with no success.
After the police left, the resident was cleaning up the mess from the broken window when he saw Hunter "sprinting" toward him at full speed, Carlisle said. The resident ran into his apartment, but Hunter forced his way in, knocking over the man's girlfriend.
The resident grabbed a knife and stabbed Hunter several times in a struggle, police said. During the struggle, Hunter managed to put a "full nelson" on the resident, Carlisle said.
Under Hawaii law a homeowner is justified in using deadly force if he believes that it is necessary to "protect himself against death, serious bodily injury, kidnapping, rape or forcible sodomy," Carlisle said, citing the statute. The use of deadly force is not justified if the person "provoked the use of force against himself" or knows he can avoid the use of force "with complete safety by retreating," he said.
The statute also says that a person is not obliged to retreat from his home or place of work unless he was the initial aggressor.
Carlisle said because no charges were filed, he will ask state Attorney General Mark Bennett to expunge the arrest from the resident's record.
Carlisle said he could recall at least one case more than five years ago where charges were not pursued in a death because of self-defense.
The resident could not be reached for comment.