East Hawaii News

Mims Stabbed One Victim 26 Times, Police Say

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One of the three victims in the knife attacks in Hilo just after midnight Thursday sustained 26 wounds, at least one of which punctured a lung, police said in documents filed today with the court.

The suspect, Varaha Nrsngha Mims, today appeared before District Court Judge Henry Freitas, who ordered Mims to appear for a preliminary hearing at 2 p.m. Thursday to determine whether probable cause exists to hold Mims over for trial.

Mims, 28, has been charged with first-degree attempted murder, two counts of second-degree attempted murder, two counts of assault, criminal property damage, burglary and promoting a detrimental drug.

The first-degree attempted-murder charge carries a maximum sentence of life in prison without possibility of parole.

Mims was arrested about seven hours after the last of the three attacks of which he is accused.


The first two involved 28-year-old Skylar Nelson of Pahoa and 27-year-old Sarah Steinbrecher of Hilo, who were stabbed on a sidewalk in front of the Hilo Town Tavern on Keawe Street at about midnight.

Police do not believe that either was known to Mims, who allegedly stabbed them before heading down Keawe Street toward the Wainaku area of Hilo.

That was apparently not the case with Mims’ third victim, John Giuffre.

According to a police affidavit, Mims was previously a tenant of the 49-year-old Giuffre.


The affidavit said that Mims broke down the door on Giuffre’s Ohai Street home and attacked him in his bedroom, stabbing him 26 times with a knife described as being between four and five inches in length.

Giuffre was taken to Hilo Medical Center in critical condition.

Nelson is being treated at The Queens Medical Center on Oahu for a punctured aorta artery.

Steinbrecher was treated at Hilo Medical Center for a stab wound and released.


Prior to leaving the area of the Hilo Town Tavern, Mims allegedly smashed a windshield on a vehicle belonging to a musician playing at the pub.

When arrested, Mims allegedly was found with a leafy substance in his pocket.

Freitas today maintained Mims’ bail at $500,000 pending his preliminary hearing.

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