COURTESY OF KITV
Karen Ertell was found dead Friday in her home in Ewa Beach.
Killing by teen ‘well planned,’ police contend
A 15-year-old boy is accused of strangling a 51-year-old woman
Calling the crime "outrageously heinous," police vowed yesterday to pursue charges in Circuit Court against a juvenile held in the strangling death of an Ewa Beach woman.
"It was actually very well planned, very well executed," said Capt. Frank Fujii.
A 15-year-old Campbell High School student was arrested late Saturday in the death of Karen Ertell, owner of Koko Crater Coffee Roasters.
Fujii said prosecutors will request that Family Court waive its jurisdiction in the case with a petition citing murder, robbery, burglary, auto theft and other charges.
The murder of a 51-year-old woman in her Ewa Beach home was "well planned" and "well executed" by a 15-year-old boy who tried to cover up his crime, Honolulu police said yesterday.
Police found Karen Ertell unresponsive in her Akua Street home Friday at about 1 p.m. after friends called, concerned that she had not shown up for work.
An autopsy determined the cause of death yesterday as "asphyxia due to manual strangulation."
"Detectives investigating the case find the planning, execution and attempts to cover the crime up outrageous," said Honolulu Police Capt. Frank Fujii. "It was actually very well planned, very well executed."
Ertell's blue Volvo was missing from her home Friday, and police found it later that night at Geiger Park. Police arrested the suspect that night on suspicion of driving without a license, but did not say whether the arrest was connected to Ertell's sedan. He was later released.
On Saturday at about 10 p.m., police arrested the boy at his home on investigation of second-degree murder in connection with Ertell's death. Police did not discuss details of the suspect or the case, citing laws protecting juveniles.
Fujii said prosecutors will request that Family Court waive its jurisdiction in the case because of the "outrageously heinous nature of the crime."
The petition to waive jurisdiction will cite murder, robbery, burglary, auto theft and other charges, he said.
If convicted as a juvenile, the boy would serve four years in prison at the most. "I don't think the community will believe that's a just sentence," Fujii said.
Police are not looking for any other suspects.
The teen was arrested on information from his father, whom Fujii called "brave."
He added, "To have a 15-year-old person murder someone in this manner, within itself is something that is very rare."
A neighbor of the suspect said the boy lived across the street from Ertell and was from New Zealand.
"He was a nice boy," said the woman, who declined to be identified, adding that the boy was a student at James Campbell High School with her granddaughter.
Police visited the house before to investigate a burglary, she said. If police or his parents had addressed the boy's behavior then, "maybe it never would have happened," she said.