Kailua-Kona man acquitted in stabbing case

  • Ikhyun Chang appears with a Korean interpreter at a circuit court hearing in June. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today file photo)

A Kailua-Kona man has been acquitted of attempted murder and other charges in connection with the reported stabbing of his wife this spring at a Pualani Estates home.

Ikhyun Chang was acquitted Oct. 22 on the grounds of physical or mental disease, disorder or defect excluding responsibility for charges of second-degree attempted murder, first-degree terroristic threatening and felony abuse of a family or household member in connection with the May 30 incident that sent his 52-year-old wife to the hospital.


The acquittal followed a stipulated facts trial held that day before Kona Circuit Court Judge Wendy DeWeese. The judge found Chang fit to stand trial in the case a week prior.

“Having considered the submission of stipulated facts for bench trial, along with the exhibits, the court will grant the motion for judgment of acquittal, finding that although Mr. Chang does not contest the facts, there is no evidence that he possessed the requisite state of mind for committing the offenses, and that he had the capacity to know right from wrong at the time of the offenses, and that he had the capacity at the time of the offenses to conform his conduct to the requirements of the law,” court minutes read.

Deeming Chang not a “proper subject” for conditional release, DeWeese committed him to the custody of the director of the Department of Health. A review hearing is set for Jan. 28, 2021. Chang had been incarcerated since his arrest, unable to post $54,000 bail.

The charges of which Chang was acquitted stem from the May 30 stabbing that hospitalized his wife. During a June preliminary hearing, the victim told the court through a Vietnamese interpreter that before the stabbing occurred, she and a friend were repairing the floors of the home she shares with her husband, Chang, when he asked her for a divorce and $20,000.


The victim testified that when she said no, Chang placed his hands around her throat and threatened her before she was able to push him away. She said she was then pushed against a wall by Chang and stabbed twice.

Had Chang been convicted of second-degree attempted murder he faced up to a life sentence.

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