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Man who killed dad gets life sentence


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POSTED: Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A 46-year-old Waipahu man will probably never get out of prison for using a hatchet to kill his elderly father and injure his elderly mother almost four years ago, said Deputy Prosecutor Kevin Takata.

Circuit Judge Randal Lee sentenced Mark Kawakami yesterday to the mandatory life prison term with the possibility of parole for second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder. He ordered Kawakami to serve at least 15 years before he is eligible for parole because both victims were older than 60.

“;Murder's a horrible crime, but he aggravated the crime by choosing his parents as victims and using a hatchet,”; he said. “;And then he had the audacity to say in his pre-sentence report that he wanted to chop his mom's head off because she was 'a junk mother.'”;

His mother, Janet, suffered from schizophrenia and was blind in one eye from a punch by Kawakami when he was a teen, Takata said.

Sueo Kawakami was 79 years old. His wife was 76. She survived the attack but died a year later from other causes.

Takata said he thinks the Hawaii Paroling Authority will order Kawakami to serve at least 200 years before he is eligible because of the nature of what he did.

Kawakami admitted attacking his parents on Nov. 19, 2005. His older brother, Stanford, told police Kawakami attacked them during an argument less than a day after their father refused to give his brother money to buy drugs.

Takata said Sueo Kawakami did not die right away. He said after the initial attack, Mark Kawakami threatened his brother, then went back to his father, who was still alive, hit him two more times and then left the house.