Stabbing victim recounts domestic incident in Kailua-Kona home

  • Chang

The victim of an alleged domestic-related weekend stabbing recounted the incident during a preliminary hearing Tuesday in Kailua-Kona.

Through a Vietnamese interpreter, the 52-year-old woman told the court that while she and a friend were repairing the floors of the home she shares with her husband, Ikhyun Chang, on Saturday afternoon, Chang asked her for a divorce and $20,000. When she said no, Chang placed his hands around her throat.

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“He squeezed my throat and said ‘I want to kill you,’” the victim recounted.

At that time, the victim testified, she was able to push Chang away, but he grabbed a carpet knife, pushed her against the wall and stabbed her twice. She said she could feel blood drip down her neck as she yelled for help.

Her friend came to her aid, taking the knife away from Chang before police arrived, she said.

Chang’s preliminary hearing before Kona District Judge Margaret Masunaga follows the Hawaii Police Department filing charges of second-degree attempted murder, first-degree terroristic threatening and felony abuse of a family or household member stemming from the alleged incident in Pualani Estates.

Hawaii Police Department Officer Keng Singleton took the stand next, telling the court that when he arrived at the residence at about 4:40 p.m. he observed the victim with a 6-inch scratch mark and one puncture wound to the side of her neck.

He said the injured woman reported her husband “pushed her and sliced her.”

According to a police press release, the woman was treated for her injuries at Kona Community Hospital and subsequently released.

Following Singleton’s testimony, Masunaga found probable cause to support the charges and committed the case to Circuit Court for trial. An arraignment and plea hearing is set for June 9.

Deputy Public Defender James Greenberg then argued for supervised release for his client, noting Chang has no prior convictions.

“It’s an unfortunate domestic incident, not attempted murder,” said Greenberg.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Chase Murray argued bail should be maintained because of the severity of the charges and the suspect’s flight risk, not being a U.S. citizen and having connections in Vietnam and Korea.

Masunaga maintained bail at $54,000. Chang remains in custody at Hawaii Community Correctional Center.

A second-degree attempted murder conviction carries up to a life sentence.

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Anyone with information about the case should contact Detective Brandon Mansur via email at brandon.mansur@hawaiicounty.gov or by calling 326-4646, ext. 301.

Email Laura Ruminski at lruminski@westhawaiitoday.com.

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