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Man gets life for killing father


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POSTED: Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Waipahu man pleaded guilty yesterday to charges he attacked his elderly parents with a hatchet, killing his father and seriously injuring his mother in 2005.

Mark. S. Kawakami, 46, faces a mandatory life prison term with the possibility for parole when he is sentenced in October for charges of second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder.

By pleading guilty to the charges, Kawakami avoided a possible life prison term without parole for attempted first-degree murder. In a plea deal, the state agreed to drop the first-degree attempted murder charge, which was for trying to kill more than one person in the same act.

The state also agreed to drop the 15-year mandatory minimum for the second-degree murder charge. Kawakami would have been required to serve at least 15 years in prison before becoming eligible for parole because the victims were older than 60.

His father, Sueo Kawakami, was 79 years old. His mother, Janet Kawakami, was 76.

Deputy City Prosecutor Kevin Takata said Kawakami went into the living room of the family's home on Niulii Street where his parents slept in the early morning of Nov. 19, 2005, hit his father on the head several times with a hatchet and hit his mother on the back of her neck.

“;His father died. His mother survived. She died a year and a day later from other causes,”; Takata said.

Police said that after the attack, Kawakami threatened his older brother before fleeing the home.

The state also agreed to drop a first-degree terroristic threatening charge against Kawakami.

His brother told police Kawakami attacked his parents during an argument and that the day before the attacks, his father had refused to give Kawakami money to buy drugs.

Kawakami showed up at the Pearl City Police Station and told officers he had just killed his parents.