21-year-old with schizophrenia indicted for murdering grandparents in their Hilo home
A Hilo grand jury on Wednesday indicted 21-year-old Joshua Ho for double murder of his grandparents on Jan. 16 while they were at their Panaewa home on Makalika Street.
Ho is scheduled to make his initial appearance in Hilo Circuit Court on Friday afternoon. He remains in custody with bail set at $2.75 million.
The family tragedy happened in the early morning. Cheryl Ho called Hawai’i Island police and told them her 21-year-old schizophrenic son Joshua was having an episode and yielding a knife.
Police initially thought they were responding to a suicide in progress but learned en route it may be a double murder. They arrived to discover that Joshua had stabbed to death his grandparents, beloved community members Jeffrey and Carla Takamine who owned Big island Delights. He also injured his brother.
Last week, the court ordered Joshua Ho to undergo a mental evaluation.
Schizophrenia is a serious mental disorder in which people interpret reality abnormally. It may result in a combination of hallucinations, delusions and extremely disordered thinking and behavior that impairs daily functioning. People with schizophrenia require lifelong treatment.
Here is the police account of what happened, according to court documents.
Police arrived to find Joshua Hoʻs father and injured brother holding down Joshua, who was naked and had blood smeared on his arms, hands, chest, abdomen, back and legs.
In a bedroom, police discovered the lifeless bodies of the Takamines amongst pooled blood and “with items in disarray as if a struggle ensued.”
Outside the door to this bedroom was a knife about 13 inches long with an 8-inch blade. It had red staining on the blade and handle, which tested for human blood at the scene.
The tragedy began at about 6:30 a.m. when a 17-year-old girl was awoken by sounds of things getting knocked over, followed by screams from Carla Takamine. The girl got scared and ran for the front door and saw an unclothed Joshua holding a knife.
Joshuaʻs brother, Kaulana Ho, told officers he also was awoken by female screams. He got up and saw his brother holding a kitchen knife with blood on his chest. Kaulana, who feared for his life, struggled with his brother to try to get the knife.
Kaulana Ho was stabbed with cuts to his head in four locations and once near his left rib, but managed to wrestle the knife away from his brother and throw it outside. Officers later retrieved the knife by the roadside.
Kaulana Ho was transported to Hilo Medical Center, where he received 19 stitches to his head.
Joshuaʻs father, Guy Ho, also was suddenly awoken when the 17-year-old female ran toward his home “all hysterical, saying Josh is running around with a knife.” Guy Ho said he immediately ran from his home through the back open courtyard toward the main residence.
He peered through a window and saw Joshua holding a butcher knife and covered in blood. Guy Ho told his son to put down the knife and Joshua did. Police arrived when Ho was being retrained by his father and brother.
Joshua Ho was immediately arrested for murder in the second degree and taken to jail. He had no prior felony convictions in Hawai’i County.
After the grand jury indictment, Ho was charged with four offenses, according to the office of Hawai’i County Prosecuting Attorney Kelden Waltjen. They are:
- First degree murder
- Second degree attempted murder
- Two counts of second degree murder
First degree murder carries a sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
Hawai’i County prosecutors provided notice of an intention to seek an extended term of imprisonment alleging that Ho is an offender against the elderly.