HONOLULU (KHON2) — The prosecutor’s office today asked that Erik Willis be held without bail “based on the serious risk of danger that Defendant poses to any person or the community.” Judge Shirley Kawamura agreed, granting the state’s motion Thursday afternoon.
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Erik Willis is accused of stabbing a 17-year-old girl who was laying along a strip of Kahala Beach on July 8 at around 1:45 p.m.
Investigators talked to a female witness who said that she was laying a short distance from the victim. She glanced over and saw the victim’s legs kicking and a man’s head sticking up behind the bush that separated the two women. The witness was able to describe the man as in his 20s with medium length, dark curly hair and wearing a blue surgical mask.
The man ran away after having stabbed the young lady several times. The victim walked toward the witness at which time the witness noticed the victim was holding her neck and was covered in blood.
Another witness, a man doing landscape work in a nearby property, saw what he described as a white man run across an adjacent construction site. He saw the man wash his arms and face then run away. Video surveillance also caught this instance on the construction site–in the video, the man comes running from the direction of the beach and is holding something white in his hand. He then disappears from view.
Court documents said that surveillance video caught the man wandering down surrounding streets and hiding behind a home’s pillar, occasionally peering out. He then caught the bus and exited at Kalanianaole and Halemaumau.
Meanwhile, the victim received emergency lifesaving treatment at Queen’s Medical Center for multiple stab wounds to her right shoulder, neck, and hands. She also suffered a tracheal injury and significant blood loss.
The female victim told investigators that she frequented that beach and had seen the man that attacked her several times in the area–but she did not know him. She said that on that day, she saw him walk in between her and the ocean. He sat about ten feet away from her. She said that he jumped on her back, stabbed her neck several times while covering her mouth with one hand.
After a significant investigation gathered surveillance video, a friend of Willis’ grandparents who was also an HPD officer identified the man in the video as Erik Willis. Police arrested Willis at his grandparents’ house on July 11. They also took into evidence a pair of Adidas shoes.
The shoes were tested and found to contain traces of blood that were matched to the victim’s DNA.
The victim’s family released a statement saying, “Our daughter is alive and recovering after this violent attack. She is alive thanks to the Lord above and to the many hands that helped along the way… Mahalo to everyone for your continued prayers.”