Kauai man found guilty of murder in retrial for 2001 stabbing
LIHUE » A Circuit Court jury found William McCrory guilty of second-degree murder a second time this week in the 2001 stabbing death of Brent "Kirby" Kerr.
McCrory, 49, who has been jailed since being arrested in October 2001, is scheduled to be sentenced on April 27 to the mandatory life in prison with the possibility of parole.
The seven-man, five-woman jury took less than five hours to find McCrory guilty of the stabbing death of Kerr. The two men, along with William Pierce, all lived in separate vehicles in the Nawiliwili Harbor area.
Prosecutors said the death was caused by an argument that might have started over a bottle of vodka.
Court-appointed defense attorney Daniel Hempey said Pierce, the prosecution's star witness at the first trial, was the more likely culprit, since he owned the murder weapon.
Pierce died in 2004, but his testimony was read into the record. He testified at the first trial that he saw McCrory head-butt Kerr and helped him dump the body in front of the Coco Palms Hotel in Wailua.
The state Supreme Court threw out McCrory's 2001 conviction, finding that a prosecution witness, Rory Knezevich, was irrelevant and prejudicial and should not have been allowed to testify.
Knezevich, McCrory's cellmate for a few days, testified that McCrory never admitted his innocence and was hoping to receive a plea deal for manslaughter.
"We feel justice was done," said county Prosecuting Attorney Craig De Costa after the verdict. "The detectives in this case did a good job."
Hempey, who was court-appointed to appeal the first verdict, said Wednesday's verdict will likely be appealed, although he was unsure if he would handle the case.
"When the court appoints you to defend a client, you do your best," he added.