Nofoa faces life without parole


POSTED: Friday, March 20, 2009

A Kalihi man accused of gunning down his ex-girlfriend in broad daylight on an Ewa Beach street is facing life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted of first-degree murder.





        Donations for Royal Kaukani's services and to support her love of educating children can be made to the Royal K. Kaukani Memorial Fund at any Bank of Hawaii branch.



Prosecutors charged Toi Nofoa, 31, at about 8:45 last night with first-degree murder, second-degree murder, use of a firearm in commission of a felony and a firearm violation. His bail was set at $4 million.

His alleged victim, Royal Kaukani, 25, was going to testify against him in a kidnapping case, which prompted the first-degree murder charge. Nofoa allegedly forced Kaukani into a car at gunpoint on Sept. 11 and threatened to kill her.

Kaukani's death is believed to be the third domestic violence-related homicide in Hawaii this year.

Domestic violence experts said homicides related to domestic violence have increased recently, although there is no clear reason why.

“;Last year was a gruesome year for domestic violence homicide,”; said Carol Lee, executive director of Hawaii State Coalition Against Domestic Violence. “;This is proving to be another bad year.”;


There were 12 domestic violence-related homicides last year, including four murder-suicides and a good Samaritan who intervened and was stabbed at a bar. In 2007, there were seven.

“;We have received a lot of calls from concerned individuals,”; Lee said. “;The information is starting to penetrate the community, and people are coming to realize what a serious problem this is in Hawaii.”;

At Kaukani's house last night, her family, including six sisters and extended family, gathered to thank the community for their support and to celebrate her life. A memorial fund has also been set up in her name.

Kaukani, a 2001 honors graduate of Waianae High School, was a concierge at Ko Olina Activities.

Family spokesman Raymond Donato said he remembers her beautiful smile, loving spirit and positive attitude.

“;You just got to smile and be happy, and that's the memory I have of her that helps me move on,”; he said. “;She always carried herself as a caring, loving person.”;

Donato said people have been placing flowers at a memorial where she was killed and calling the family to offer help.

“;There's been overwhelming support from the community,”; said Donato. “;The family is doing well.”;

He declined to speak about Nofoa.