Ex-patient at psychiatric hospital is arrested in nurse’s fatal stabbing

FILE- Hawaii State Hospital is shown Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017, in Kaneohe, Hawaii. A patient at a psychiatric hospital in Hawaii is under arrest after the fatal stabbing of a nurse. Police say the 29-year-old staff member was stabbed multiple times at Hawaii State Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Authorities say the suspect is a 25-year-old patient who was arrested for murder. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones, File)

HONOLULU — A former patient at a Hawaii psychiatric hospital has been arrested in the stabbing death of a 29-year-old nurse at the facility, officials said.

Paramedics responded to the Hawaii State Hospital in Kaneohe on Monday where the nurse, a 29-year-old man with multiple stab wounds, was pronounced dead.

State Health Director Dr. Kenneth Fink identified the nurse as Justin Bautista and said he had worked at the hospital for four years.

Honolulu police said a 25-year-old former patient was arrested in the death.

According to the Hawaii Department of Health, the patient was discharged from the hospital in August and was participating in a community transition program that allowed him to leave the site briefly during the day.

That made him no longer a hospital patient, even though he was still on the campus, Dr. Kenneth Luke, the hospital administrator, said at a news conference.

No information was immediately available Tuesday on what the patient used to stab the nurse.

Luke called the stabbing an “unanticipated and unprovoked” incident.

A police arrest log identified the suspect as Tommy Kekoa Carvalho. Police said he was in custody Tuesday, but had not been charged.

The hospital primarily houses patients with significant mental health issues who have been ordered there by the courts after committing crimes. Courts may also order people to stay at the facility while they wait to be evaluated for their mental fitness to stand trial.

Luke said the patient appeared ready for discharge in August and noted that courts issue permission for patients to transition back into the community.

Luke added that it would a be a “double tragedy” if the death were to lead to patients remaining institutionalized longer.

“We can not let this get in the way of appropriate transitions,” he said, noting that a safety review of the facility is underway.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.