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StarBulletin.com

Family testifies on abuse killer suffered as a child


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POSTED: Friday, May 29, 2009

Glenn Keohokapu Sr. says he feels responsible for his son's actions because he abused him when Glenn Jr. was a boy.

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“;I was a terrible, abusive father. I not proud saying what I saying. I don't think my son had a fair chance in life because of what I did to him,”; he said.

Glenn Keohokapu Jr., 37, is facing life in prison with the possibility of parole for fatally stabbing 19-year-old Steven Wilcox outside a Kaneohe karaoke bar last June.

Last month a state jury found him guilty of manslaughter. The normal punishment for the crime is 20 years in prison.

But the state is asking Circuit Judge Virginia Crandall to sentence Keohokapu Jr. to the stiffer penalty to protect the public. It first needs to persuade the same jury that Keohokapu is a persistent offender who deserves a life sentence.

The 10 male and two female jurors are expected to begin deliberations today.

Keohokapu Sr. was one of three witnesses to testify yesterday on his son's behalf.

The younger Keohokapu chose not to testify.

His mother, Minerva Peters, said her son was afraid of his father and trembled every time his father called his name.

Melissa Keohokapu said her father beat her younger brother almost every day for things like not sitting properly or not being able to pronounce a word.

She said her father punched, slapped and threw him around the house.

Peters said her ex-husband also bit her son.

Melissa Keohokapu said when her mother tried to intervene, her father beat her, too.

She said she is aware that her brother has prior convictions for second-degree robbery, first-degree burglary and abuse of a family or household member and spent time in jail for them. But she said she is not familiar with the details.

She said her brother is not a violent person. “;The only time he's like that is with his wife,”; she said.

Keohokapu has convictions that involved him biting victims.