On Friday, May 3, 2013 at 8:30AM, the man convicted of killing domestic violence Good Samaritan, STEVEN WILCOX, will be appearing at District Court at Ka`ahumanu Hale located at 777 Punchbowl Street for his sentencing on a re-trial regarding his extended sentencing for the 2008 murder.
19 year-old Steve, the oldest of triplet sons, was stabbed in the heart as he attempted to protect the murderer’s wife from being assaulted by her husband. A June 10, 2008 Star Bulletin story revealed that the murderer “has 15 previous criminal convictions, including six felonies” and that he served jail time before. “Other convictions include burglary, assault, family abuse and shoplifting, his earliest conviction dating back to 1992.” http://archives.starbulletin.com/2008/06/10/news/story05.html
News of the murderer’s retrial came late the night before it to Steven’s mother, GWEN KAILIHIWA, who because of the late notice couldn’t be present for the April 5th retrial, something she feels extremely distressed about. As a loved one left behind, Gwen felt it was important to be there for the retrial to promote the message that “Domestic violence is not welcome in our way of life, especially when it takes our loved ones away from us too soon. This message stands for not only my son Steven Kalani Wilcox, but for “ALL” whose lives was taken through domestic violence.”
Because Gwen could not attend the retrial, I went for her and was actually glad that Gwen did not go when I heard what I did during the proceeding. While I know it’s the defense attorney’s job to defend his client, I was absolutely appalled and enraged on how he did so by portraying Steven not as the Good Samaritan that he was but as someone who “brought the fight to” the murderer that night, implying that the murderer had merely defended himself. The defense attorney described the murderer’s past alcohol, drug and meth use as “self-inflicted injuries” (never heard that one before!) and pointed towards the murderer’s exemplary behavior thus far while incarcerated as evidence as to why he should be released from the additional years tagged on to his sentence.
The prosecutor did a good job of presenting a timeline of the murderer’s criminal history (that satisfies part of the criteria for extended terms of imprisonment http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/hrscurrent/Vol14_Ch0701-0853/HRS0706/HRS_0706-0662.htm) and called a police officer to the stand who described how he watched the murderer, the day following the crime, chase down his wife who was attempting to flee from him in her car. The officer described how the murderer jumped onto his wife’s reversing car and was punching at the windshield, ripping a wiper blade off in the process. What was particularly interesting and sad about the criminal history timeline was that the murderer has spent the majority of his life behind bars and when he’s been out, has used his freedom to commit more crimes, violence and abuse.
Since her son’s untimely death, Gwen and her daughter – Shantal – have devoted much of their time and energy into educating the public about domestic violence through Shantal’s non-profit named for her brother Steve: BRAVE HEART http://hawaiibraveheart.webs.com/. Gwen herself has compiled a list of names from 2008 till present of those “whose voices have gone unheard in graves where even their resting place cannot truly be one because justice for the life that was taken has not happened. I want to stand for them to be heard and to see justice served.”
Gwen would like to humbly request that supporters of her late son attend tomorrow’s sentencing with her as well as those who stand against domestic violence and family abuse.
Justice isn’t about revenge or about wanting to see the guilty squirm/feel worse – it’s about remembering the victims who’ve been forgotten about in the process. Survivors like Gwen want to stand as a precautionary tale – to serve as an inspiration, to raise awareness about the high price of domestic violence and to bring about the changes needed so others and their loved ones can be spared their experiences.
Please join us if you can tomorrow, May 3rd at 8:30am at 777 Punchbowl Street to stand in solidarity and support of fallen Good Samaritan, Steve Wilcox, and to offer your comforting strength to the loved ones he left behind.