A 24-year-old old Hawaii man who used a machete to kill someone he believed to be "one of Satan's minions" was found guilty of manslaughter on Wednesday.
A Maui jury declined to convict Kumulipo Sylva on the more serious charge of second-degree murder in connection with last year’s brutal slaying of 35-year-old Eduardo Alejandro Cerezo.
Witness Kyle Keoho testified that he and Cerezo were drinking in a public bathroom at the Queen Kaahumanu Center on Maui when Sylva entered and struck Cerezo with the machete.
Cerezo died instantly.
A public defender said that Sylva was battling a mental disorder that caused him to experience delusions, according to the Maui News. The defendant claimed that he was “in a fog” at the time of the murder and that his medication had been stolen.
“The person you swung at in the bathroom, what was that person?” Sylva was asked by his lawyer during the trial, according to the Maui News.
“One of Satan’s minions,” he answered. “I told him, ‘Tell Satan, Kumulipo sent you,’ and I swung.”
Sylva said that he told Keoho after the attack, “That was a demon, dude.”
“If he was allowed to think like most people think and not know that that was a demonic being that I had just dispatched, he would have been freaking out twice as much,” Sylva said, according to the Hawaii newspaper. “So I had to tell him.”
Sylva faces up to 20 years in prison.
With News Wire Services