Demonstrations planned to remember slain boy
Rallies are planned this week to honor the 14-year-old Big Island boy who was killed while trying to stop his father from attacking his pregnant mother with a combat knife.
The organizing groups say the rallies are also intended to bring attention to domestic violence.
With his dying breaths, Tyran Vesperas-Saniatan begged a 911 operator for help after being stabbed in the neck on June 11.
His father, 38-year-old Tyrone Vesperas, admitted to police that he stabbed his son and his nearly full-term wife in the abdomen with a military-issued combat knife during a domestic dispute.
Cheryl-Lyn Vesperas, 34, survived, but her unborn child did not.
Police said the couple had been going through a divorce and were living apart.
Tomorrow, Women Helping Women will lead a roadside rally on Maui with signs to express the community's condolences and concerns.
"We can be a unified force that tells our community that this tragedy is horrific and yet it goes on in the homes in our community day after day," said Monique Yamashita of Women Helping Women. "It has to stop, and we have to keep being the voice for those who can no longer speak."
On Tuesday evening, the Hawaii State Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Rep. John Mizuno (D, Alewa Heights-Kalihi) are holding a silent march at the State Capitol.
"We should also honor and recognize the heroic and self-sacrificing efforts of young Tyran who saved the life of his mother," Mizuno said.
Because of the attack, Mizuno plans to introduce a bill next session to make it a felony to kill an unborn child.
Tyran attempted to hold his father back so his mother could escape, police said. During the struggle, the teenager was stabbed in the left side of his neck, cutting his jugular vein.
Vesperas, a staff sergeant for the Hawaii Army National Guard, was charged Wednesday with second-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and other charges. He served with the 29th Brigade Combat Team in Iraq from February 2005 to January 2006.
He is being held without bail pending his arraignment this week.