By JOHN BURNETT
Tribune-Herald staff writer
A witness to a fatal stabbing on Nov. 5 in Eden Roc subdivision told police that the suspect challenged the victim to a duel or knife fight, stating that he needed to advance his samurai skills, according to court documents filed by police.
Documents state the witness was helping 32-year-old Rory Thompson Wick unload lumber delivered by HPM Building Supply for an addition to Wick’s home and that a man he only knew as “Serif,” who lived in a separate residence on the property, was also there.
The witness reportedly told police, he, Wick and “Serif” — whom police later identified as 34-year-old David True Seal, a mental patient who had escaped from Hawaii State Hospital in Kaneohe, Oahu, almost four years earlier — had smoked marijuana prior to unloading the lumber. After unloading the lumber, they went back inside Wick’s home to smoke more marijuana, he said.
According to documents, Seal was “mumbling nonsense to Wick, stating that Wick was not fit to take care of his (three) children, and that his time here was coming to an end.”
The witness then allegedly told police that Seal called Wick out to fight, mentioned his “samurai skills,” then went to the dish rack and got two kitchen knives. He then reportedly held out a knife to Wick “so Wick would fight with him.” Wick then reportedly told Seal to “cut it out,” and that they’d talk about it after the witness left.
Police report the witness told them that Seal looked around a bit, then lunged at Wick with the larger knife, stabbing Wick in the back. The man said after Wick was wounded, he stood up and said “Oww, what the f—-!” and tried to leave the house. The witness told police that he was so afraid he ran out of the home down to 22nd Street, hid in the bushes and called police. He reportedly described one knife as having an 8- to 10-inch blade and the other, a blade approximately 8 inches in length.
An officer met the witness at 22nd Street and took him back to the Pilo Street property where Wick lived, according to documents. When the officer and the witness arrived, Seal was reportedly standing in the driveway near a pile of lumber. His shirt, shorts and garden gloves were bloody, police wrote. When the officer asked if Seal was the only one there, he reportedly replied: “I just killed my brother.”
The officer then went inside the house, found nobody there, and asked Seal where his brother was. Seal allegedly replied: “I was building him a fire, he stay in the puka (hole) by the big tree stump.” The officer then checked behind Wick’s home and found him lying supine and unresponsive in the bushes with three stab wounds to the left torso area, documents state.
Another officer, who took Seal into custody, reported that Seal was “mumbling nonsense” he couldn’t make out, except “something about solar rays,” and then said again that he had killed his brother.
Police then took Seal to Hilo Medical Center for treatment of injuries to both hands. Documents state that Seal told doctors that he had sustained the injuries with the knife he had killed his brother with. When asked why he had injuries to both hands, Seal reportedly replied that he had used both hands.
Documents state the suspect gave police the name of “Serif Swaim” with a birth date of Jan. 27, 1979. The witness reportedly called his girlfriend and she told him that she knew the suspect as “David True Love.” Police then ran a check on “David True Love” and the birth date, and found “David True Seal” with a matching date of birth. The witness then reportedly identified Seal from a photographic lineup as the man who had stabbed Wick.
Seal escaped from the mental hospital by scaling a 14-foot-high wire mesh fence on Dec. 3, 2009, and had been at large since. He had been committed to the facility after being acquitted by reason of insanity in April 2002 for the kidnapping and attempted rape of an 8-year-old girl on Maui. Court records state that Department of Health officials had filed a motion asking a judge to grant them authority to involuntarily administer medication to Seal on Dec. 2, 2009, the day before Seal went on the lam. That motion was never heard.
Seal and Wick reportedly knew each other from Hana High School on Maui, where Wick had graduated in 1999, but it’s not clear how long Seal had been on the Big Island, or how long he had lived on Wick’s property. Officials of the Kobukan Kendo Club, which holds classes at the county’s Waiakea Recreation Center, told the Tribune-Herald on Nov. 13 that Seal, under the name Serif Swaim, had been taking classes from them for at least two years, possibly longer. A source said that Wick had built Seal’s house and had driven him to the kendo lessons.
Police executed a search warrant on Wick’s property, and according to documents found 132 marijuana plants between 2-4 feet tall, 9.21 pounds of dried, processed marijuana, 4.65 ounces of a marijuana concentrate known as hash oil, various items of paraphernalia — including 20 pipes and a digital scale — and $4,000 in cash, all in $100 bills. Documents state the cash was found in a filing cabinet inside Wick’s home.
Seal has been charged with second-degree murder, and a judge has ordered a mental examination to determine his fitness for trial.
Email John Burnett at firstname.lastname@example.org.