Hilo News — Keolaokalani W. Kailianu Charged For Ted Braxton’s Death, Unable To Post Bail

Keolaokalani Kailianu

(Media release) — Police traffic investigators have charged Keolaokalani W. Kailianu, 41, of a Hilo address with negligent homicide in the first degree, operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant and accident involving death or serious injury stemming from a motor vehicle/moped crash that killed 22-year-old UH Hilo student Ted Braxton at the intersection of Kino’ole Street and Hualālai Street on May 28.

Bail for Kailianu totaled $10,500. He was unable to post bail and remains confined at the Hilo police cellblock. 

(Edited release from the Hawaii Police Department via Nixle.)

27 replies
  1. Mary Diehl
    Mary Diehl says:

    there is no such thing as responsible drinking. evil spirits to the max always. i hate alcohol.!!!

  2. Tiffany Edwards Hunt
    Tiffany Edwards Hunt says:

    Sorry, I wasn’t at Kailianu’s initial appearance in District Court, so I am relying on police to offer information at this point.
    Jessica, Kailianu’s bail was set by a judge and he was unable to pay that amount or at this point in his adjudication a family member or friend could not present enough collateral to a bail bondsman to front the money for Kailianu’s release. Because of this, Kailianu’s remains jailed.
    Kailianu will have a preliminary hearing. At that hearing, police will present evidence to support the charges against him. If a District Court judge finds there is enough evidence to support the charges against him, Kailianu’s case will be referred to Third CircuitCourt. In that court,Kailianu will face an arraignment hearing, and will plead either guilty or not guilty. Once has entered a plea, he will either face a trial or a sentencing hearing…

  3. Ken
    Ken says:

    When we as a society begin to treat drunks and drunk drivers as the murderers they really are, then this subject will become serious.

    If the same end result happened with Mr. Braxton’s death and Mr. Kailianu found holding the smoking 45 caliber, I am sure his bail would be much much much higher than 10 grand.

    I have been “off island” for over 5 months and returned “home” on Friday. I have not seen one road block, although advertised endlessly.

    I did however, read about the parking ticketing of school parents attending a school event, as well as see the Officer working really hard at busting speeders at the end of Ainaloa at 9 Road.

  4. CS Gray
    CS Gray says:

    You clearly have a personal issue with alcohol consumption, but to use the example of an outrageously irresponsible drunk driver as proof that “there is no such thing as responsible drinking” is just plain BS. There is no connection whatsoever between me, or any other responsible adult, choosing to consume an adult beverage in the privacy of our homes, and what this murderous drunk driver did. This man chose to get behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated and killed someone. That has no relationship whatsoever to responsible drinking; the connection you draw is like someone saying that because some priests molested children that all religious leaders are unsafe to have around children.

    People here absolutely need to get serious about drunk driving, but calling all drinkers irresponsible will not win that movement any support from all the responsible drinkers out there who do not drive drunk and kill people. In much of Europe the consequences for drunk driving are severe, with mandatory jail sentences and life long loss of drivers licenses. As a result city people routinely use cabs when drinking away from home, people who live in rural areas use designated drivers, and they do not have the same level of carnage on their highways that we have.

  5. Ken
    Ken says:

    @CS Gray – and anyone else:

    You are free to drink as “responsibly” as you feel. If it is your bag to have one small glass of wine at home with dinner – fine – or if your deal is to drink at home until the floor slams into your head – fine too.

    Go to a bar/restaurant and do the same and get behind the wheel of a vehicle, and you just became an “irresponsible drinker.”

    Now tell me all those cars parked outside ANY bar/restaurant that serves alcohol are the designated drivers.

    One glass of wine or 20 shots of tequila – and driving a car – just don’t mix.


    And if anyone thinks they can have one small drink and drive a car – well then you have no clue and you just became an “irresponsible drinker.”

    Let’s watch this case unfold alongside the murderer from Washington who killed his wife by beating her head to a pulp. His bail just went to 2 million. This drunk is at 10 grand. He will be out within days if not already.

    My guess – this guy will get off with a relative hand slap in comparison, and yet the end results are two dead people.

    Again, drunk driving and the justification of it in any sense of the word is a picture of what society finds acceptable.

  6. CS Gray
    CS Gray says:

    There is nothing in my post that in any way justifies drinking and driving. Mary claimed that there is no such thing as responsible drinking because of this event. My point is that drinking is not automatically followed by driving and to use drunk drivers as support for the claim that there are no responsible drinkers is a false connection and intellectually dishonest. She also said she “hates alcohol” so clearly this is personal for her.

    People like me who do not drink and drive are not the problem here, people like the guy who killed Ted Braxton are the problem, and so is a legal system that lets a drunk firefighter get away with vehicular homicide and fleeing the scene, and then tries to blame the victim because he had been walking home after drinking. The legal system here does not deal with this problem effectively at any level: prevention and education, stopping it while it is happening by arresting offenders, prosecuting offenders, or handing out meaningful sentences that could deter future offenders. The laws in the United States dealing with drunk driving are very lax compared to many other countries, but even those laws are not used to keep our roads safe.

    People who drink and don’t drive are no more responsible for drunk drivers than anyone else in our society. The first responsibility lies with the individual, society as a whole has a right and obligation to make laws and enforce them if individuals fail to control themselves, but blaming those who do control themselves for those who don’t is nonsensical.

  7. Ken
    Ken says:

    @ CS Gray

    I am not implying that you condone drunk driving or in any way justify it.

    I do however, take issue with the comment about people who don’t drink and drive being held responsible for those who do.

    Let me ask you one question – in your lifetime, have you ever known someone to be under the influence of alcohol and knew that person was going to drive a car but did nothing to stop them? At your home, out for dinner with friends, after work……..

    If you answer that one question with a yes, then YOU are responsible.

    Again – booze is an acceptable method of at a minimum being an asshole when drunk. At a maximum it is an acceptable form of murder with little to no punishment whatsoever.

    Society has accepted this as a norm.

    Thank God he was NOT a fireman. Unfortunately he did not have a few joints of pot on him. Society would prescribe a hand slap or 20 years had one or the other occurred.

  8. Ken
    Ken says:

    @CS Gray

    Trust me I have. And over 25 years ago when my oldest son turned 16 and got his drivers license and between my wife and I having the talk about drinking drugs and driving he asked BOTH of us – “so in other words, don’t do what you do.”

    That was the last day both my wife and I ever drank any form of alcohol and drove a car. Unfortunately for our son at that time, he became our chauffer.

    Further, it was the last time we allowed anyone to come to our house and drink – and drive home. My son, shortly followed by his two brothers and sister became the “designated drivers” of guests/family that came to our home.

    However, nothing my wife or I ever said to our kids changed them more (or the two of us for that matter) than seeing 200 plus 18 year olds at the funerals of two of their friends who thought drinking a quart of Jack Daniels and driving off the cliff (we lived in Colorado at the time) with his girl friend. That was almost 25 years ago.

    I have also told anybody who refused a ride home or a taxi home that I would be calling the police and reporting them.

    Again, it all comes down to what Society accepts as a whole. When Yale University becomes the largest sponsor of Professional Sports over that of Bud Light, we might get somewhere.

    I am sure A LOT of people could have stopped this guy. But they did not.

  9. Jan
    Jan says:

    It will be very intersting to see how this case is treated. The Fire Captain who also hit and run got only 90 days in jail….let’s see what they do with this case. Teh Fire Captain was also drinking, ran, covered it up with lie after lie and only 90 days….we shall see …..

  10. Tom Lackey
    Tom Lackey says:

    This is not to make lite of this very serious subject and I don’t like cut and paste things but here is a response to Mary Diehl’s post.

    Mary said:

    there is no such thing as responsible drinking. evil spirits to the max always. i hate alcohol.!!!

    In 1952, Noah S. “Soggy” Sweat, Jr., a member of the Mississippi House of Representatives, was asked about his position on whisky.
    Here’s how he answered:

    If you mean whisky, the devil’s brew, the poison scourge, the bloody monster that defiles innocence, dethrones reason, destroys the home, creates misery and poverty, yea, literally takes the bread from the mouths of little children; if you mean that evil drink that topples Christian men and women from the pinnacles of righteous and gracious living into the bottomless pit of degradation, shame, despair, helplessness, and hopelessness, then, my friend, I am opposed to it with every fiber of my being.

    However, if by whisky you mean the oil of conversation, the philosophic wine, the elixir of life, the ale that is consumed when good fellows get together, that puts a song in their hearts and the warm glow of contentment in their eyes; if you mean Christmas cheer, the stimulating sip that puts a little spring in the step of an elderly gentleman on a frosty morning; if you mean that drink that enables man to magnify his joy, and to forget life’s great tragedies and heartbreaks and sorrow; if you mean that drink the sale of which pours into our treasuries untold millions of dollars each year, that provides tender care for our little crippled children, our blind, our deaf, our dumb, our pitifully aged and infirm, to build the finest highways, hospitals, universities, and community colleges in this nation, then my friend, I am absolutely,

  11. Vampire
    Vampire says:

    $10,500 not much bail for killing someone. Every person has the right to bail, but that was dirt cheap. Seems moot point though so he has no collateral to even cover $10,500.

    I would bet that he will lose his case due to the mechanics of the legal system: Whoever has the most money usually wins, and this guy ain’t got none.

    If he had a million bucks lawyers would line up to get paid, and take the case. No tengo dinero? SOL dude.

    With regard to booze, my alcohol consumption is about one case of Pacifico beer every two months and 2 shots of tequila a month. Maybe one margarita a month.

    That’s it! Not very evil at all since I don’t drink and drive.

  12. Tom Lackey
    Tom Lackey says:

    And it ends this way,

    unequivocally in favor of it.

    This is my position, and as always, I refuse to compromise on matters of great importance.

    The Lack

  13. Vampire
    Vampire says:

    So what Lack is saying is that he is unequivocally opposed to booze, except when he is for unequivocally for it.

    Have you ever thought about a career in politics?

  14. Ken
    Ken says:


    Wonder what your unequivocal opinion on marijuana is.

    Try walking down main street Pahoa with a loaded gun – in plain sight – twirling it around – like in a Barney Fife method – occasionally discharging it – but never hitting anyone with the bullet. See how far you go.

    Now – take that same walk – and notice each person on a bar stool in Liquins. Granted, not all are going to drive home – but some will.

    What is the difference?

    Society accepts drunk drivers murdering people.

    Now – even killing your family members who come visit.

  15. Ken
    Ken says:


    At best – he will get 5 to 8 years. Time off for good behavior – out within 3 years.

    And legally able to drive a car once again.

    Now, our good buddy from Washington is in jail with bail set a 2 million and will never see the light of day again – ever.

    And yet the end results are one in the same. Two dead people.

    It is what Society wants and what it finds acceptable and unacceptable.

    You do realize that legally, this guy can drive a car today – while out on bail – today.

    My guess, he is already sitting in a bar blaming everyone for his actions. (My editorial opinion only)

    I wonder what will happen when he drives home tonight?

  16. Priestess
    Priestess says:

    There are a lot of us who knew Ted here in Puna.
    I really hope this guy gets what’s coming to him. A mother has lost a son, a brother has lost a brother, a sister has lost a brother and we have lost a friend from such an selfish act.

    I really hopes he’s in pain for the rest of his life.

    RIP Ted

  17. Jessica
    Jessica says:

    In having some time to let it set it in… my hope is that this can bring attention to the need of more strict laws/punishment regarding DUI, as well, that this man devotes the rest of his life to stopping drunk driving. There is hope, there is hope.

    Ted was such a beautiful being.

  18. Malama
    Malama says:

    Mr. Keolaokalani W. Kailianu is a very good family friend of mines, and this was a very disturbing& life changing incident for both familys. On his behalf I would like to offer out my apologies.
    Mahalo nui loa,

  19. Ken
    Ken says:


    I can imagine. Your friend is totally inmaterial to the loss the Braxton family now has.

    What your friend should now do is be a real man and live up to his actions and take his rightful punishment he deserves.

    And he should do it now.

  20. Ken
    Ken says:

    Check this guy out on eCourt.

    Not the first DUI. (Last November 2010.)

    Numerous non compliance with traffic laws, vehicle registration, safety inspections, and of course – no need for insurance.

  21. A kailianu
    A kailianu says:

    @ Ken-As one of three relatives who bear the “kailianu” last name and a former classmate of Ted with whom I’ve attended UH Hilo with, my only question to you is….. What loss did you suffer?

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