Suspect indicted in Puna man’s murder
By JOHN BURNETT
Tribune-Herald staff writer
A Hilo grand jury has indicted a 19-year-old Kurtistown man for the Dec. 28 slaying of a 44-year-old Hawaiian Acres man at the victim’s home.
The six-count indictment dated Jan. 13 charges Kawena Krause with second-degree murder, first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary, second-degree theft and use of a firearm in the commission of a separate felony. The sixth count seeks an extended term of imprisonment of life in prison without the possibility of parole “for the protection of the public.” The document also alleges “that the murder was especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel, manifesting exceptional depravity.”
“There’s two ways we’re going for an extended sentence in this case,” Deputy Prosecutor Mike Kagami said Monday. “We’re going with heinous, and with Kawena, there’s more than one felony in this case.”
Second-degree murder usually carries a mandatory sentence of life with the possibility of parole, while use of a firearm in the commission of a separate felony is a Class A felony punishable by a 20-year prison term.
Krause and his 30-year-old cousin, Claude Keone Krause, are accused of the shooting and strangulation death of Dante Peter Gilman. Police say the elder Krause shot Gilman during a Dec. 28 robbery, and the younger Krause then choked the man until he was lifeless. Kagami said the allegation of the murder being especially heinous is “because of the choking.”
According to court documents, a home video surveillance system recorded the homicide.
Gilman’s body was found on Jan. 22 off Stainback Highway in Hilo.
Claude Krause has pleaded not guilty to similar charges plus being a felon in possession of a firearm. Hilo Circuit Judge Glenn Hara ordered him to appear a jury trial for trial on May 20 at 8:30 a.m. Deputy Prosecutor Jeff Malate estimated the trial would take “three to four weeks.”
Kawena Krause has requested a mental examination and a hearing on that request had been scheduled for Feb. 26 in Hilo District Court.
“We’ll just do it (the mental examination) in the circuit court after he’s served with the warrant,” Kagami said. He added that the Feb. 26 hearing will remain on the calendar.
Kagami said that prosecutors will try to consolidate both defendants’ cases so both will be tried together, if the cases go to trial.
Both Krauses are being held without bail at Hawaii Community Correctional Center.
Email John Burnett at email@example.com.
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