Testimony underway in attempted murder trial

‘There was a lot of blood’ from stabbing victim, officer testifies

Calvin Borge

WAILUKU — Responding to an early-morning report of a stabbing in a Lahaina apartment, a police officer said he saw a woman in the fetal position on the kitchen floor while a man held a cloth on her neck.

“She was bleeding profusely on the floor. There was a lot of blood,” said Lahaina patrol officer Rod Corso, who arrived four minutes after the call at 2:18 a.m. Feb. 19, 2013.

“She wasn’t really responsive. I tried asking her questions, but she wasn’t answering.”

Corso testified Wednesday as a 2nd Circuit Court trial got underway for Calvin Borge, 53, of Kula.

He has pleaded not guilty to second-degree attempted murder of Deanna Bolen.

Police said she was approached from behind and put in a neck hold before the front of her neck was cut with a knife.

Bolen and her fiance, Regan Nitta, had been invited to Wade Waikiki’s apartment at 1028 Wainee St. the evening of Feb. 18, 2013, when Kaleolani Keohuhu showed up uninvited with her fiance, Borge, said Deputy Prosecutor Emlyn Higa.

In his opening statement to jurors Wednesday afternoon, Higa said evidence would show that Bolen was standing at the kitchen sink when Borge approached her from behind and used the knife to cut her throat. After seeing Borge cut his fiancee, Nitta stabbed Borge, Higa said.

Defense attorney Michael Green, in his opening statement, said Keohuhu admitted she was the one who cut Bolen’s throat when she was interviewed by police detectives that morning.

“The confession is immediate,” Green said. “It is specific and you’re going to hear it. She said, ‘She was drunk. She was obnoxious. She was disrespectful of my father. I pulled the knife across her neck.’ ”

Green said Keohuhu was on felony probation at the time and had brought the knife to the apartment, along with a loaded handgun. Waikiki had taken the gun from Keohuhu and removed the bullets, Green said.

“Everyone’s getting drunk. Everyone is smoking ice,” Green said. “By the early-morning hours of Feb. 19, they’re loaded up.”

Higa said Keohuhu at first told detectives Bolen was cut while scuffling with Nitta and Keohuhu over the knife. She later said “it was an accident,” then that she had cut Bolen’s neck “to teach her a lesson,” Higa said.

When one detective left the room and the tape recorder had been turned off, the other detective told Keohuhu, “What are you doing? We know it wasn’t you,” Higa said.

“She began to break down,” Higa said. “She said the defendant was the only man in her life that had ever treated her well. He was the only man that had given her respect. She loved him. She’d do anything for him. She would take the fall for him.”

Higa said the other detective returned to the room and in the next 17 tape-recorded minutes, “she explained why she had taken the blame and gave a statement about ‘what really happened.’ ”

In a 911 call made at 2:18 a.m. Feb. 19, 2013, a man is heard crying and swearing while saying “she’s dying.”

“They killed my wife. They stabbed her. They tried to slice the neck,” the caller says.

Officer Corso, who was the third patrol officer to arrive at the apartment that morning, said Nitta was with Bolen.

“He was really shocked, hysterical, asking for an ambulance and saying, ‘She’s going to die. We need help,’ ” Corso said.

After Bolen didn’t respond to the officer’s questions, Corso said he saw her talking to Nitta.

“He said, ‘That f—er did it’ and pointed to the bed where Borge and Keohuhu were sitting,” Corso said.

He said other officers were near Borge and Keohuhu.

After medics arrived, Bolen seemed to be more aware, and Corso against asked her what happened. “She pointed to where the bed was and she said, ‘She told me,’ then paused and said, ‘It’s your turn to die,’ ” Corso said. “She was shaking. She didn’t look stable.”

Corso said he tried to talk with Bolen despite her condition because “in this case, anything would be appreciated because that could have been her last statement.”

Corso said a knife with a 5-inch blade was located next to a stereo across from the bed after Keohuhu pointed it out.

Bolen was transported to Maui Memorial Medical Center for treatment and was later released in satisfactory condition, police said.

Judge Richard Bissen is presiding over the trial, which was scheduled to resume today.

* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at lfujimoto@mauinews.com.