It’s been nearly one year since Sgt. William Michael Brown lost his life.

The Kaneohe-based Marine was out with a friend on the night of Oct. 21, 2017, when they got into an argument with a group of local teens.

A boy was taken into police custody for allegedly stabbing Brown.

The teenager’s defense attorney, Michael Green, says there are no winners in this case. 

“It’s a double tragedy. You have a human being dead, and someone that was giving everything to our country. He’s a Marine. He’s a serviceman. He’s in Waikiki having fun, and then there was, and not him, but there was a group of girls with an express purpose, in my mind,” said Green.

The attorney says on that fateful night, his client went to Waikiki with a big group of kids.

“(They were) going to rob people. That’s what they say, 14, 15,16 years old,” said Green.

He adds the group approached Brown and his friend. The teens started the fight, he says.

“The girls dive in, eight to 10 of them punching, kicking, fighting these two men. What is that? Where are these kids? Fighting,” said Green.

Green claims his client, who 16 at the time, did not start the fight, but came to the defense of his then-girlfriend: “He was off to the side. All of a sudden, there’s a semi-riot.”

But he is unsure which teen stabbed Brown.

“Did he do it?” asked KHON2.

“I don’t know,” responded Green. “There are statements from everybody, and some of the statements are completely opposite from what they say.”

His focus for the client, now 17, is for him to stay in juvenile detention.

“You believe he deserves a second chance?” KHON2 asked.

“Just not to keep him at OCCC, because they have to put him in safe keeping. That’s like being locked down 23 hours a day. They cant leave him alone walking around OCCC,” answered Green. “For a young boy like that, not so good. Not so good.”

In a statement from Brown’s mother, Betty Reese writes:

“Sergeant William Michael Brown was killed on October 21, 2017. Sadly, it has taken Hawaii’s Justice System nearly a year to decide to move forward on whether or not the person responsible for his death will have a trial. It has taken nearly a year for Sgt. Brown’s family and friends to find out if his killer will be brought to justice.

Despite the long wait, I am grateful that he will be tried as an adult and that his identity will finally be released. I am praying for a trial, conviction, and sentencing to the fullest extent of the law. It would be my preference that no plea deals be offered or accepted.

Though nothing can return my son to me, I am hopeful that his killer will receive an appropriate sentence for taking the life of a young man who was trying to protect his friend from being assaulted.

The family of Sergeant William Michael Brown wishes to express our disappointment in what has been a long and disheartening process that should have been carried out expediently and our hope that this process will result in a satisfactory conclusion that will provide our family and Mike’s friends with closure and peace of mind.”