Accused murderer will stay on Kaua’i

LIHU’E — The Waimea man charged with murdering a retired doctor and attempting to murder his own stepson will remain in prison on Kaua’i.

Raymond Earl Ard will stay at the Kaua’i Community Correctional Center in Wailua. He sought a transfer to a medical unit at the O’ahu Community Correctional Center in Honolulu to be treated for copper poisoning.

Circuit Court Judge Kathleen N.A. Watanabe denied Ard’s transfer on Thursday. She based her decision on an assessment of Ard that was done by an official on KCCC’s medical staff.

Watanabe pointed out that the assessment indicated there was no need for Ard to be moved to O’ahu.

Ard claimed in a letter he wrote last month to Watanabe that the KCCC medical staff could not treat him for the copper sulfate that was trapped in his skin.

He wrote in the letter that he had accidentally poisoned himself with copper sulfate, and he needed testing.

Deputy Public Defender John Calma, Ard’s court-appointed attorney, states in court records that Ard poisoned himself before he was incarcerated in March 2005.

Ard, 40, is accused of attempting to murder his stepson, Richard “Kai” Iwatate, and of stabbing to death Dr. Jon Scott Kerns, a retired doctor and Waimea resident, almost a year ago. Iwatate was 15 at the time.

The charges were filed after Ard allegedly stabbed Kerns to death in the house Ard was renting from Kerns on Menehune Road in Waimea.

Ard’s jury trial is scheduled for Feb. 27, one year to the day after the alleged offenses took place.

He faces one count of first-degree attempted murder, one count of second-degree murder, and one count of second-degree attempted murder.

Ard could be in prison for life if convicted on any of the three class-A felony counts.

According to court records, Kaua’i Police Department officers were called to Ard’s rental house a few minutes after 10 p.m. on Feb. 27 last year. Upon arrival, they found that Ard had fled the scene, but not before allegedly stabbing Iwatate and Kerns.

Iwatate and Kerns were found in the kitchen of the rental house, according to court records. Blood spatters were seen on the stove and on the refrigerator, and two bloody knives were found near the stove.

Court records show that Iwatate and Kerns were taken by ambulance to Kauai Veterans Memorial Hospital at the West Kauai Medical Center in Waimea, where Kerns was pronounced dead. Iwatate was treated and eventually released from the hospital.

According to court papers, the night of the alleged crimes, Ard was found several miles away in a Gay & Robinson sugar cane field in the Makaweli area. He was wearing shorts only, and had no footwear.

Ard made a statement to KPD detectives, court records show. In the statement, Ard said that he had prayed to God in the Makaweli mountains.

Ard said in his statement that God told him that Kerns was Satan in the flesh, and that when Satan was in the flesh, he can be killed.

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