Killer to be released after 13-year stay at mental hospital
The 59-year-old was involved in attacks while in custody
HILO » A man who killed his girlfriend but was found not guilty by reason of insanity is set to be released from the state mental hospital, 13 years after the crime.
Curtis Kealoha, 59, who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, was deemed fit for conditional release by three doctors who gave testimony last year. Circuit Judge Glen Hara approved his release July 18.
The victim's daughter, Janelle Agres, said she believes the doctors pushed for Kealoha's release without considering the risk to the public.
"I want him to see my face," she said. "Whatever court date he has, I'm going to be there. I'll make sure he doesn't forget."
Kealoha will live in a group home on Oahu and be monitored at all hours.
He cannot leave the home unescorted without approval from his probation officer, and he must tell the probation officer about any romantic relationships he has.
Police found Kealoha scratched and covered with the blood of 49-year-old Victoria Agres on Oct. 4, 1994. She was discovered dead in his bathroom.
Kealoha had been smoking crack cocaine the night of the killing, according to court documents.
"He did it while under the influence of cocaine while having a flashback that he was under attack in Vietnam," said Dr. Vit Patel, a physician and psychiatrist who examined Kealoha and supported his release.
Kealoha was involved in at least eight incidents involving attacks or threats on staffers or other patients from 1997 to 2004 at the Hawaii State Hospital.
One of the incidents involved a nurse with whom he had a relationship. It happened two days after one of his previous requests for conditional release.
The Health Department, which oversees the Hawaii State Hospital, would not confirm when Kealoha will be released because of federal and state privacy laws, said spokeswoman Janice Okubo.
A prisons spokeswoman referred questions to the Health Department.
Kealoha's attorney, Michael Ebesugawa, did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment yesterday.