KANEOHE, HI – Authorities have arrested a former patient of the Hawaii State Hospital in Kaneohe in relation to the fatal stabbing incident of a 29-year-old nurse at the facility. Responding to an emergency call on Monday, emergency medical services arrived at the hospital premises where they pronounced the nurse, identified as 29-year-old Justin Bautista, dead from multiple stab wounds. Bautista had served at the hospital for four years, according to State Health Director, Dr. Kenneth Fink.
The suspect, a 25-year-old former patient, was arrested for the alleged murder by the Honolulu police. The Hawaii Department of Health revealed that the suspect had been discharged from the hospital in August and was part of a community transition program that permitted his short-term exit from the facility during the day. Consequently, the accused was no longer an in-patient, despite his continued presence on the campus, stated hospital administrator, Dr. Kenneth Luke.
Details regarding the weapon employed in the stabbing remain undisclosed. The assault was described as an unexpected and unwarranted event by Luke. The police arrest record identified the suspect as Tommy Kekoa Carvalho, who as of Tuesday was in custody but charges were still pending.
The hospital primarily accommodates patients grappling with severe mental health problems who have been placed there by court orders following their involvement in crimes. Some individuals are mandated by court orders to stay at the hospital while their mental competence to face trial is evaluated.
Luke mentioned that the suspect appeared ready for discharge in August and emphasized that court authorizations are necessary for patients’ transition back into their communities. He voiced his concerns about potential elongated institutionalizations of patients if the tragic incident led to changes in the discharge process. Execution of an appropriate transition plan should continue unhindered, Luke stressed, while also acknowledging a safety review of the hospital is currently underway.