Molokai man accused of threatening wife, children with rifle

During a preliminary hearing, bail was set at $27,000

WAILUKU — Bail is set at $27,000 for a Molokai man arrested for allegedly breaking into a house where his wife and children were staying and threatening her with a loaded rifle.

William Greenwell, 33, of Kualapuu was arrested after police were called to the home of his wife’s parents in Kaunakakai.

During a preliminary hearing Wednesday in Molokai District Court convening in Wailuku, Lehua Greenwell testified she was housesitting for her parents and was asleep when she was awakened by her husband’s truck pulling up at about 3:30 a.m. Sunday.

After she wouldn’t let him in the house, she said he went to his truck, got the rifle and began clicking it while saying he wanted to shoot her and other people, Lehua Greenwell said.

She said he somehow got through a metal security door to get into the house.

She was in a bedroom with their 6-year-old daughter when she heard him in the hallway clicking the rifle as if he were loading it, Lehua Greenwell said. The couple’s 11-year-old son and her 12-year-old nephew were in another room.

She left the bedroom, and the couple argued before William Greenwell went outside again and she locked the door, Lehua Greenwell said. She found the rifle on an ironing board in a back room, removed the magazine clip and hid it.

Sgt. Kyle Bishaw-Juario, who was called to the home that morning, testified that he recovered the .30-caliber semi-automatic rifle from a hallway linen closet. A magazine loaded with .30-caliber ammunition was next to it, he said.

Bishaw-Juario said that during an interview with police, William Greenwell said he had forced his way into the locked residence by pushing on the metal security door. After he and his wife got into an argument, Greenwell said he left, Bishaw-Juario said.

He said Greenwell reported receiving the rifle from his grandfather. “He said because it was grandfathered in, he didn’t have to register it,” Bishaw-Juario said.

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the worst, Greenwell rated his drunkenness at 7, Bishaw-Juario said.

“He was unsteady on his feet, had slurred speech and red, watery eyes,” Bishaw-Juario said.

Deputy Prosecutor Lewis Littlepage said the rifle was found loaded with a bullet in the chamber. “It’s an imminent threat,” he said.

Referring to testimony that Greenwell was highly intoxicated that night, Deputy Public Defender Heather Brown said, “There’s a question whether he had the ability to carry out any threat.”

Judge Blaine Kobayashi found there was probable cause for the charges.

Greenwell is charged with first-degree burglary, keeping a loaded firearm in an improper place, first-degree terroristic threatening, keeping ammunition in an improper place, not having a permit to acquire a firearm, acquiring a firearm without registration and fourth-degree criminal property damage.

He is scheduled to be arraigned Oct. 3 in 2nd Circuit Court.

* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at