Man acquitted in stabbing to be released

WAILUKU – A man who was acquitted by reason of insanity of a stabbing in a Queen Ka’ahumanu Center bathroom will be released from the Hawaii State Hospital into a supervised group home.

As a requirement of his conditional release granted Wednesday, Adam Mendoza was ordered to remain on Oahu and to have no contact with the victim of the May 20, 2011, attack.

Second Circuit Judge Rhonda Loo also ordered Mendoza not to consume alcohol and illegal drugs, including marijuana, and to continue to undergo mental health treatment, including medication and regular visits with a psychiatrist.

The judge granted Mendoza’s request for conditional release, following a discharge plan by a social worker, and based on recent reports from three psychiatrists or psychologists who examined Mendoza.

Deputy Public Defender William “Pili” McGrath said Mendoza “is doing very well because he’s receiving high quality services to improve his health and to protect the community at the same time.”

Mendoza, 23, has been described as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.

The random and unprovoked stabbing occurred in the second-floor bathroom near Macy’s at the shopping center. Timothy Heauser-Caires, a 21-year-old Makawao resident, suffered a collapsed lung and was hospitalized for 13 days afterward.

Mendoza has remained at the Kaneohe hospital since April 2012, when he was found legally not responsible for the stabbing because he was suffering from a mental health condition that kept him from realizing the wrongfulness of his actions. In January, Loo granted a state request to medicate Mendoza against his will while he was refusing to take his psychiatric medication.

By May, state hospital officials said Mendoza was doing well, according to court records.

McGrath said Mendoza will be released into a state Department of Health therapeutic living program that has 24-hour monitoring.

“He will be released under extremely tight supervision,” McGrath said.

He said it wouldn’t be a problem for Mendoza to stay away from Maui and Heauser-Caires. When the assault occurred, Mendoza had recently arrived on Maui from Washington state, McGrath said.

“He doesn’t actually have any strong ties to Maui,” McGrath said.

A Dec. 11 court date was set to review Mendoza’s progress.

* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at