McCrory sentenced to life for killing “Kerby” Kerr

William Lowell McCrory, 46, was sentenced Thursday to the maximum penalty, life in prison with the possibility of parole, for the murder of Brent “Kerby” Kerr.

A jury found McCrory guilty of second-degree murder after about six hours of deliberations following the three-day trial in June. McCrory was convicted of stabbing Kerr in the early-morning hours of Oct. 26, 2001 near Nawiliwili Harbor. Kerr’s body was discovered Oct. 26 along Kuhio Highway fronting Coco Palms Hotel.

Circuit Court Judge Clifford L. Nakea presided over the trial and sentencing of McCrory. McCrory was defended by deputy public defender Jim Itamura and the state was represented by prosecuting attorney Michael Soong.

Despite McCrory’s sentencing Thursday, the Kerrs say they believe an accomplice to the murder should be arrested and charged in the case. That person is the owner of the murder weapon, Billy Pierce, the prosecution’s star witness who testified that he saw and heard McCrory attack Kerr outside Kerr’s van in Nawiliwili.

Helen and Charles Kerr, Kerby’s parents, say they received no moral support from the prosecuting attorney’s office through investigations and during the trial. “It gave us the impression they thought (Kerby) was just some alcoholic with no family,” brother Alan Kerr said.

After months of grieving and trying to support each other emotionally, the Kerrs say they are now living through their ordeal. They plan to come back to Hawai’i for a hearing in which the Hawaii Paroling Authority will set the minimum term that McCrory must serve before being eligible to be considered for parole.

McCrory was also ordered to pay restitution of $1,500 for Kerr’s funeral and burial services. Kerr’s body was cremated and some of his ashes were scattered near Kapa’a by his family. The Kerrs are planning a trip to Scotland later this year for a memorial service.

McCrory was not ordered to pay into the Crime Victims Compensation fund, which is used to reimburse crime victims and their families for medical and mental health treatment, funerals and lost wages.

The Kerrs sent written statements to Judge Nakea before the sentencing, which were provided to The Garden Island by the Kerrs.

“My son, Brent, loved your island and the people of Kaua’i. He phoned me after the horrible disaster at the Trade Center (in) New York. He asked me then, if his father and I could retire in Kaua’i. He said, there are no (t)errorists here,” Helen wrote.

“This murderer stole my son’s life, and a lot of my life too. We are all victims in this horrible, brutal murder. You are the judge. Let justice be served,” she closed.

“Murderers in the commission of their crime never think of the consequences, or the effect on the family. The financial cost to our family is already twenty-five thousand dollars and rising. There is no restitution or repayment to this family. No restitution would ever be adequate for the loss of our beloved son,” Charles wrote.

Staff Writer Kendyce Manguchei can be reached at kmanguchei@pulitzer.net or 245-3681 (ext. 252).

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