DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Club Komomai in Kaneohe, shown here yesterday, is being investigated after liquor was allegedly served to a teenager who was later killed outside the bar.
Bar faces punishment after death of teenager
Club Komomai is being investigated by the liquor commission
A hearing for a liquor violation against Club Komomai, a Kaneohe bar that allegedly served a 19-year-old man who was stabbed to death in the bar's parking lot last month, has been continued for another two weeks.
Club Komomai is accused of serving or furnishing liquor to a minor, Steven Wilcox, and faces a fine of up to $2,000 or a suspension or loss of its liquor license.
The charge was heard yesterday by the board of the Honolulu Liquor Commission, which granted the defense two weeks to gather more information.
An attorney for Club Komomai, Keith Kiuchi, denied the allegations and told the commission that a sting operation to catch employees serving underage drinkers at the bar failed the day before the stabbing. He also said there was a rumor that Wilcox had a fake ID.
He told a reporter that his client feared losing her license.
Club Komomai Principal Ann Kaauamo, who attended the hearing, declined to comment.
At about 12:30 a.m. June 8, Wilcox was stabbed while trying to intervene in a dispute in the bar's parking lot, police said. Police arrested a 35-year-old man in connection with the killing.
An autopsy revealed Wilcox had a blood alcohol content of 0.218, more than 2.5 times the state's legal driving limit, said the Honolulu Medical Examiner's Office. Drug tests came back negative.
Wilcox's mother, Gwen Kailihiwa, who attended part of the hearing yesterday, said a $1,000 fine would not be enough. The commission should revoke the establishment's liquor license, she said.
"I thank the Lord they found out that they never card him," she said. "I wish they (Club Komomai) did their job a little better than that."
David Primiano, a liquor control investigator, testified that he began investigating the case after Wilcox's family members called to report abuse of liquor laws at the bar.
He testified he saw a police property inventory report that showed Wilcox did not have an ID on him.
Corrina Keanu, one of three witnesses that prosecutors called, said she knew Wilcox from her father's work site.
She arrived at the bar that night at about 11:15 and noticed Wilcox in the bar shortly afterward. He was with his uncle, a man she met for the first time.
She testified that Wilcox's uncle bought him beer and that she witnessed Wilcox drink two Heineken beers and a shot within 30 minutes. She never saw Wilcox speak with a bartender, she said.
She saw Wilcox's uncle speaking with the suspect in Wilcox's death inside the bar.
The defense will present witnesses when the hearing continues on July 24.
Wilcox's mother said she is in "limbo," waiting for the criminal trial to begin, but finds comfort that an investigation has started.
"I cannot change back time," she said, but added that she hopes this case will prevent other bars from serving minors.
There is no amount of money that makes serving minors justifiable, she said.
"It's not worth it," she said.