Former Kauai man found guilty of killing landlord after being evicted

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Kauai Prosecuting Attorney Justin Kollar announced that 65-year-old Peter Grewer, formerly of Ōmao, Kauai was found guilty of second-degree murder for killing his landlord on Friday, May 21.

Joellen Hartman, a retired schoolteacher, was found dead of 17 stab wounds shortly after she evicted Grewer from a rental that he was occupying on her property on June 19, 2018, according to witness testimony and other evidence.

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Hartman was found in her wheelchair inside of her locked Ōmao home on Pune’e Road, according to prosecutors.

Police then obtained a search warrant and found Hartman’s keys for her home and vehicle as well as shorts stained with her blood inside of Grewer’s rental unit. Grewer was also observed to have fresh scratches on his chest, according to police.

Evidence also revealed that Grewer’s DNA had been found on Hartman’s fingertips and under her fingernails. Prosecuting Attorney Kollar said, “a measure of justice” was achieved through the guilty verdict.

“Nothing we do can bring Joellen Hartman back to life, but today we achieved a measure of justice. I am grateful to each person who helped bring this case to this verdict and I am thankful to the jurors for their service. Trying a highly complex case like this during a pandemic was quite an undertaking and it took a first-rate team of attorneys, victim advocates, clerks, and many others to get the job done – and they delivered in exemplary fashion. We will continue holding Ms. Hartman’s friends and family in our thoughts.

JUSTIN KOLLAR, KAUAI PROSECUTING ATTORNEY

Friday’s jury trial was the first on Kauai since February 2020. The trial began in April 2021 but was put off due to a COVID-related issue. Evidence presentation resumed on Monday, May 17. Grewer was found guilty after approximately two hours of jury deliberation.

Grewer is scheduled to be sentenced on Thursday, Aug. 12. An extended-term hearing will determine if Grewer is eligible to be sentenced to an extended life term without the possibility of parole on Monday, May 24.

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