Grewer sentenced for murder

LIHU‘E — A former ‘Oma‘o man has been sentenced to a life in prison without the possibility of parole for killing his landlord and retired school teacher Joellen Hartman, the county Office of the Prosecuting Attorney announced Tuesday.

Peter Grewer, 65, was found guilty in May of murder in the second degree after a month-long jury trial that took place in April and May.

On Monday, Fifth Circuit Court Chief Judge Randal Valenciano sentenced Grewer to the life term, agreeing with the jury’s finding that Grewer’s crime was especially heinous, atrocious and cruel, manifesting exceptional depravity, and that Grewer knew or reasonably should have known that the victim was 60 years of age or older so an extended term of imprisonment was necessary for the protection of the public.

The case was prosecuted by Deputy Prosecuting Attorneys Kimberly A. Torigoe and Matthew H. Arakawa. Kaua‘i Police Department Investigative Services Bureau Lt. Christopher Calio was the lead investigator on the case.

According to witness testimony and evidence, shortly after Hartman evicted Grewer from her rental, she was found with 17 stab wounds inside her locked home on Pune‘e Road in ‘Oma‘o, deceased in her wheelchair.

After a search warrant was executed on Grewer’s rental unit, police found shorts stained with Hartman’s blood in addition to keys to her home and vehicle. The police also observed fresh scratches on Grewer’s chest, and Grewer’s DNA was found on Hartman’s fingernails and fingertips.

“Justice was served in this case,” Acting Prosecuting Attorney Rebecca Like said in a press release. “Deputies Torigoe and Arakawa were diligent in navigating a jury trial in the midst of the pandemic. Our community should rest easier knowing that this dangerous individual will never walk the streets again.”

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