Suspect found guilty of Hanapepe murder
LIHUE » It took a jury less than two hours yesterday to convict Richard Shannon Costa of second-degree murder in the stabbing of Weslyn Jerves, an 18-year-old Hanamaulu woman.
Costa, 37, a cook from Kalaheo, told the jury last week that he was defending himself in an argument over $20.
He also had a psychiatrist who testified in his defense, saying that Cook did not know what he was doing.
But two other psychiatrists testified that he was able "to conform his conduct to the law," said county prosecutor Craig De Costa.
According to court records, Costa told detectives that he picked up Jerves in Hanapepe in January 2005, to "go cruising."
Court records indicate that they drove to Glass Beach in Hanapepe, and an argument ensued. Jerves pulled a knife, but Costa took it away and stabbed her numerous times. He then pushed her out of his car and drove over her body as he left.
The murder occurred "because he was angry and demonstrated some hatred towards her," De Costa said, adding that Costa also apparently asked for sex but was rebuffed.
Costa will be sentenced on May 25 to life in prison, with the possibility of parole, according to state law. Costa's court-appointed defense attorney, Warren Perry, had no comment after the verdict.