Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022|
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A 21-year-old Kurtistown man was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison with the possibility of parole for his role in the slaying of a 44-year-old Hawaiian Acres man in late 2012.
Kawena Krause pleaded no contest to second-degree murder in October for the killing of Dante Peter Gilman on Dec. 18, 2012, at Gilman’s home. His cousin, 32-year-old Claude Keone Krause, pleaded guilty to the same charge, and is scheduled to be sentenced at 8 a.m. Monday before Hilo Circuit Judge Glenn Hara.
In exchange for their murder pleas, prosecutors dropped burglary, robbery, theft and firearms charges, and agreed to request the Hawaii Paroling Authority set minimum prison terms of 20 years for Kawena Krause and 30 years for Claude Keone Krause, the latter a convicted rapist and burglar.
Christopher Bridges, Kawena Krause’s court-appointed attorney, noted the life sentence already was set, but told the judge there were extenuating circumstances in his client’s involvement in Gilman’s slaying. He added the younger Krause has been remorseful “from Day 1.” He also described his client as a special education student who reads at a third-grade level.
“It wasn’t a deliberate act on his part,” Bridges said. “He was under the influence of methamphetamine at the time. He had been tricked by his cousin in going over there to fight with Mr. Gilman — and, to his surprise, his cousin jumped out of the car with a gun and hit Mr. Gilman in the face with the gun.
“Mr. Gilman screamed, tried to escape, and my client found himself at the wrong end of a rifle being told, ‘Silence him. Silence him. Or I’m gonna silence everybody.’ So, he did what he thought would silence Mr. Gilman. He choked him thinking he would pass out. He has no martial arts training.
“… Unfortunately, it just went too far.”
Deputy Prosecutor Jack Matsukawa countered, saying the homicide was “all about greed.”
“They went there to rob Dante Gilman,” Matsukawa said. “The video would have shown the defendant held Mr. Gilman by the throat for two minutes. And that is not realizing he did something wrong. That’s an intentional act.
“After that, the video shows them going through his place, … basically ripping off Dante Gilman of all his possessions.”
In his rebuttal, Bridges conceded “to a great extent” Matsukawa was right about greed’s role in Gilman’s murder.
“But it wasn’t Kawena Krause’s greed; it was his cousin, Claude Keone Krause’s greed that led to this whole incident,” Bridges said. “… The video clearly shows Kawena helping his cousin load Mr. Gilman’s belongings up and hauling them out of the house. But the follow-up investigation will note that Kawena Krause did not benefit from this crime financially, at all. He didn’t receive any of the proceeds of the subsequent burglary of Mr. Gilman’s residence.
“Everything that was taken ended up in the hands of Keone Krause, was sold by Keone Krause, or traded for ice by Keone Krause.”
Gilman installed a video surveillance system in his home months before his murder. The Krauses stole or disabled the cameras but were unable to find the hard drive, which police later obtained.
Another person, described by police as a juvenile, also was at the crime scene, but that individual has not been charged.
Gilman’s sister, Katrina Howe, addressed the court. She asked the judge to sentence both Krauses to life without the possibility of parole — a sentence not allowed by law in this case.
“These men take sick pleasure from the suffering they cause,” she said. “… If I tell the court the extent of the suffering they caused, I allow these men to delight in their inhumane cruelty.”
Howe said her brother “never learned to tell the difference between those who would help him and those who would harm him.”
“His life was violently ripped from him. His hopes and his desires are gone, from his deepest passions to his simplest pleasures,” she said. “… Dante will never again surf the waves of Honolii or feel the droplets of water cool his skin as he emerges from the surf.”
Gilman, a one-time competition surfer, was the son of the late Peter Gilman, a Honolulu Star-Bulletin reporter in the 1950s and author of the best-selling novel “Diamond Head,” which was made into a 1963 film starring Charlton Heston.
Asked by Hara if he would like to address the court, Kawena Krause replied, “No, your Honor.”
While passing sentence, the judge told Krause the two-plus minutes he choked Gilman “is a long time.”
“That’s the period of time that you basically prevented Mr. Gilman from either receiving blood to his brain or air to his lungs,” Hara said. “And if you don’t believe it’s a long time, one of these days — and you’ll have enough time to do it — you sit down and see how long you can hold your breath.
“I challenge you to hold it even for a minute.”
Email John Burnett at email@example.com.
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