Victim had injuries hours before hospital


POSTED: Saturday, January 23, 2010

Christi Hokoana suffered the injuries to her head — which eventually killed her — at least a few hours before an ambulance took her to the Queen's Medical Center, a hospital doctor said yesterday in Honolulu District Court.

Hokoana, 33, arrived at Queen's Jan. 9 in critical condition and in a coma. She died six days later after hospital staff took her off life support. She never regained consciousness. Her funeral was yesterday.

The state charged Hokoana's ex-boyfriend, Kevin H. Dale, 44, with second-degree murder for causing Hokoana's fatal injuries or for failing to get her medical help.

Deputy Honolulu Medical Examiner Gayle Suzuki said Hokoana died from blunt force injuries to her head.

A Honolulu District Court judge ordered Dale to stand trial in Circuit Court for murder following a preliminary hearing yesterday.

Dr. Matthew Koenig said a CT scan taken when Hokoana arrived at Queen's shows her brain was already swollen.

“;It's very unusual to have global cerebral edema, meaning swelling of the whole brain, on the first head CT in the case of trauma,”; Koenig said, “;because usually that finding, the edema, the swelling, develops over a period of several hours to a day or more after the injury.”;

Dale's neighbor Maria Jovanovic said she heard Dale yelling from outside his Waikiki apartment and then more yelling and thumping sounds from inside the apartment between 10 and 11 a.m.

“;At one point, I'm not 100 percent sure, I heard him say, 'And now you're telling me you're in love with someone else,'”; Jovanovic said.

Dale's friend Bree Evans said she arrived at Dale's apartment at about 3:15 p.m. after Dale told her on the telephone that Hokoana was at his apartment and was not doing well — “;that she was sleeping and that she had fallen a couple of times and that she had gashed her chin open,”; Evans said.

;[Preview]    Disturbing testimony in Waikiki murder hearing

Witnesses gave testimony of Christi Hokoana's violent death in the court hearing for Kevin Dale.

Watch ]


She said Dale also told her Hokoana said she had been high on methamphetamine for two weeks.

When she arrived at the apartment, Evans said, Hokoana was laying on the floor naked and was snoring or groaning. Evans said Hokoana's arms and legs were moving, but she was unresponsive. She said she also saw what appeared to be dried semen on the inside of Hokoana's legs and stomach bile on her face.

Dale is not charged with sexual assault, and Suzuki said there was no methamphetamine in Hokoana's system.

Evans said she knew Dale and Hokoana were not supposed to be together because Hokoana had a restraining order against Dale. But she said the two were seeing each other regularly even after a state judge issued the restraining order in July.