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Wells enters no contest plea in stabbing death

MEDIA RELEASE

County Prosecuting Attorney Charlene Iboshi has announced that a Kona man who was charged with murder in the second degree and assault in the second degree arising our of a stabbing incident on Nov. 16, 2010 has entered pleas of no contest to lesser included charges of manslaughter and assault in the third degree, pursuant to a plea agreement with the state.

In exchange, the state has agreed to recommend Gene Craig Wells be sentenced to prison and that he be released from custody after serving two years of incarceration.

On Nov. 16, Edward Wanat and Andrew Wanat knocked on the door of Wells’ apartment at the Kona Eastwind Condominium. The Wanats intended to confront Wells about a false allegation he lodged against them with the property manager. At the time, court orders probated contact between Wells and the Wanats.

Wells opened the door and stabbed Edward Wanat in the torso and abdomen. Andrew Wanat intervened and tried to disarm Wells.

Edward Wanat returned to his own apartment to call for help. When the police and medic personnel arrived, Wanat was in his apartment and Andrew Wanat was still in Wells’ apartment, where he had subdued Wells.

Edward Wanat later died as a result of his injuries.

Included in the evidence evaluate prior to reaching this agreement were witness statements, physical evidence recovered from the scene of the stabbing, and reports from DNA, blood patterns and toxicology experts. Wells raised a self-defense argument to the charges, contending he stabbed the Wanats to protect himself from their attack in his home.

In July 2011, Andrew Wanat was charged with attempted robbery in the first degree and assault in the second degree after it was reported he tried to steal from a Kailua-Kona man at the McDonald’s parking lot. Wanat allegedly shot the man in the chest with a BB gun before leaving the scene in a car driven by another individual.

The state consulted with investigators and the surviving victim prior to entering into the plea agreement. The agreement ensues a conviction for Wells, and eliminates the uncertainty inherent in a trial outcome.

A further consequence of the agreement is that Wells has agreed to remain away from the Kona Eastwind Condominium.

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