Judge allows Ala Wai killer to leave hospital unescorted
The man found not guilty of murder by reason of insanity in the June 2002 death of former Star-Bulletin freelance sports writer Jack Wyatt will be allowed off Hawaii State Hospital grounds unaccompanied by staff.
A Circuit Court judge approved yesterday the hospital's request to grant Cline Kahue, 53, the privilege to go unescorted to a church on Sundays.
"Although this is unescorted, he will not be alone," said Deputy State Attorney General Jan Futa, noting Kahue's brother James will accompany him while Kahue goes to services off hospital grounds.
Circuit Judge Dexter Del Rosario noted that the request came from Dr. Julie Trinh, Kahue's treating physician and the Hawaii State Hospital's staff psychiatrist. Del Rosario also said that according to Trinh, Kahue's treatment team supports the request and that Kahue has been going on outings off hospital grounds accompanied by staff without problems since December 2005.
Kahue pushed Wyatt, 71, into the Ala Wai Canal where Wyatt struck his head on a rock and drowned on June 18, 2002.
Del Rosario presided over a jury-waived trial and found that Kahue was not criminally responsible for Wyatt's death due to his mental illness. He said Kahue has a lengthy history of mental problems that started in 1975, started experiencing symptoms of schizophrenia when he was 25 and had been hospitalized at least 14 times.
Five days before Kahue pushed Wyatt, he was hospitalized at the Queen's Medical Center after experiencing psychiatric problems, and records indicated he had not taken his medication for his mental illness.