Courtroom Updates

The Courtroom Daily updates are from Hawai'i's leading daily newspapers and television news stations. Kudos to all the news reporters for keeping Masumi's story alive and not forgotten. You are truly Masumi's heroes.

The links below are the original links for the articles. Since the original publication of these articles, Hawaii's two newspapers merged to become The Honolulu Star-Advertiser, and the news channels KGMB and KHNL became Hawaii News Now. Therefore, some of the links may no longer work.

Power Point presentation used by Prosecutor Peter Carlisle

File is 36.9 MB. Power Point or similiar software required.
Courtesy of the Honolulu Advertiser: 3/4/08: Safe download.

Latest Updates

Hawaii Supreme Court Refused Lankford's Appeal

State's top court refuses to hear appeal by convicted murderer of Japanese woman

"The high court's one-sentence order denied Lankford's request to hear a
challenge to a decision last year by the Intermediate Court of Appeals."
Honolulu Star-Advertiser: 10/04/11 By: Ken Kobayashi

150 Years: Minimum Sentence

"This is the result of the countless support we received from
the more than 30,000 people, and we are deeply grateful."
Hideichi Watanabe, Masumi's father: 4/18/09

Kirk Lankford Minimum Sentence Set at 150 Years in Hawaii Prison

Hawaii Paroling Authority: 4/17/09 By: Albert Tufono

'Callous' Hawaii killer of Japanese visitor gets 150 years

Honolulu Advertiser: 4/18/09 By: Jim Dooley

Lankford gets 150-year jail term

Honolulu Star Bulletin: 4/18/09 By: Rosemarie Bernardo

Parole board sets Lankford's minimum term at 150 years

KHNL8: 4/17/09 By: Minna Sugimoto

Convicted Killer Gets 150 Years For Murder of Japanese National

KHON2: 4/17/09 By: Olena Rubin

Board Gives Lankford 150 Years In Prison

KITV: 4/17/09 By: KITV4Staff

Lankford Gets 150-Year Minimum Sentence

KGMB9: 4/17/09 By: Jim Mendoza

Parole board calls Lankford's actions 'unconscionable behavior'

Honolulu Advertiser: 4/17/09 By: Advertiser Staff

Killer sticking to his story

Honolulu Advertiser: 3/4/09 By: Dan Nakaso

Lankford seeks mercy in North Shore slaying

Honolulu Star Bulletin: 3/4/09 By: Gary Kubota

Lankford apologizes - but not for murder - at parole hearing

Honolulu Advertiser: 3/3/09 By: Advertiser Staff

Convicted Killer Faces Parole Board

KGMB9: 3/3/09 By: Lisa Kubota

120 Years?

KHON2: 3/3/09 By: Andrew Pereira

Prosecutors seek 120-year sentence for Lankford

KHNL8: 3/3/09 By: Minna Sugimoto

Prosecutor Wants Lankford To Serve 120 Years

KITV4: 3/3/09 By: KITV4 Staff

State of Hawai'i VS Kirk Matthew Lankford

Verdict: Guilty of 2nd Degree Murder

"The jurors reasoned and served justice.
One less murderer off the streets!
May Masumi Watanabe rest in peace now.
Kudos to HPD, detectives, the technians, medical examiner and staff, specialists,
investigators, Prosecutors and staff, witnesses, the men and women jurors,
the courts, the judge, the people of Hawaii
and world seeking justice... so many tilting the scale for truth!"

Comment by REAL: 4/14/08 StarBulletin Forum Online

Masumi Watanabe's parents comment about the verdict: April 18, 2008

We are Masumi Watanabe's parents. We are very grateful for the conscientious verdict. We thank the many people who have supported us through this ordeal including the people of Hawai'i, the volunteers, the Website creators, the Honolulu Police Department, the Prosecuting Attorney's office, and the jurors. As we are unable to directly thank each person, some of whom have supported us as complete strangers, we would like to use the media to communicate our gratitude.

From the Opening statements till the Closing arguments, seven long weeks have passed and we thank all those who have been involved in this lengthy process. We were touched to have a Memorial Service done in Masumi's honor at the Kawaiaha'o Church. The Mayor and many others attended and I was able to shake hands with so many people and hear encouraging worlds. Although I lost a valuable daughter, through this loss, beauty and kindness has surfaced and our family has a debt of gratitude to the people of Hawai'i.

When the verdict was announced, we were in the airplane on our way to home to Sado, without Masumi's body. Upon arrival at the airport with word of the news, we could not stop our tears from flowing. But truly, we wanted to have shared this relief close to the people of Hawai'i who have shown us so much kindness and aloha.

This is one step in the process that justice is reached for Masumi. However, one of our goals is to bring Masumi's body back to our home in Sado. Knowing the amount of pain a family can go through, we do not want this to happen again. Our hope is that Hawai'i can remain a paradise, and a place of public peace and security.

Today, please allow us to convey our heartfelt appreciation and affection for the people of Hawai'i through the media.

Hideichi and Fumiko Watanabe, Masumi's parents


Sentencing: Life in Prison

"Judge calls Lankford a 'predator,' gives him life in prison"

Honolulu Star Bulletin: 7/31/08 By: Nelson Daranciang

"Victim's parents plead for body as Lankford gets life sentence"

Honolulu Advertiser: 8/1/08 By: Jim Dooley

"Lankford won't receive 'enhanced' prison term"

Honolulu Advertiser: 5/20/08 By: Jim Dooley

"Lankford gets parole option"

Honolulu Star Bulletin: 5/20/08 By: Nelson Daranciang

"No extended sentece for convicted killer"

KGMB9: Video 5/19/08 By: Lisa Kubota

"Convicted killer avoids State's stiffest penalty"

KHNL8: Video 5/19/08  By: Minna Sugimoto

"State drops effort to get Lankford life without parole"

KHON2: 5/19/08 By: Marisa Yamane

"Prosecutors give up on no parole for Lankford"

KITV4: 5/19/08 By: Daryl Huff

"Convicted murderer Lankford back in court"

KGMB9: Video 5/16/08

"Judge rules against murderer"

Honolulu Advertiser: 5/13/08 By: Jim Dooley

"Killer's wife to aid state's penalty case"

Honolulu Star Bulletin: 5/13/08 By: Nelson Daranciang

"Masumi's case not yet closed, her father says"

Honolulu Advertiser: 4/19/08 By: Peter Boylan

"Watanabe's father still has questions"

Honolulu StarBulletin: 4/19/08 By: Nelson Daranciang

"Masumi's Father Speaks Out about Her Accused Killer"

KGMB9: Video 4/18/08

"Watanabes grateful for guilty verdict"

KHON2: Video 4/18/08 by: Marisa Yamane

"Masumi Watanabe's father wants Lankford to give up body's location"

KHNL8: Video 4/18/08 By: Minna Sugimoto


Sixth Week: Guilty Verdict

"Lankford Guilty of Murder"

Honolulu Advertiser 4/15/08 By: Mary Vorsino
Photo Gallery & Video

"Lankford found guilty"

Honolulu StarBulletin 4/15/08 By: Nelson Daranciang

"Story held no credibility, observers say"

Honolulu StarBulletin: 4/15/08 By: Alexandre Da Silva

"Lankford found guilty of murder"

KGMB9: Video 4/15/08 By: Lisa Kubota

"Jury finds Lankford guilty of murder"

KHON2: 4/14/08 By: Olena Rubin

"Lankford guilty of murder"

KITV: Video 4/14/08 By: Daryl Huff

"Locals reaction to verdict"

KITV: Video 4/14/08 By: Jodi Leong

"Jury found Lankford guilty in woman's death"

Honolulu Advertiser 4/14/08 By: Advertiser Staff

"Lankford guilty of murder"

Honolulu StarBulletin 4/14/08 By: Nelson Daranciang


Fifth Week

"Lankford trial goes to jury"

Honolulu Advertiser 4/11/08 By: Mary Vorsino

"Jury set to deliberate in Lankfords' trial"

Honolulu StarBulletin 4/11/08 By: Nelson Daranciang

"Closing arguements in Lankfords' trial"

KGMB9: Video 4/10/08 By: Jim Mendoza

"Jury to deliberate verdict for Lankford"

KHON2: Video 4/10/08 By: Brianne Randle

"Attorneys deliver closing arguements in Lankfords' trial"

KHNL8: Video 4/10/08 By Minna Sugimoto

"Lankford trial closing arguements"

KITV: Video 4/10/08 By: Daryl Huff

"Lankford account challenged"

Honolulu Advertiser 4/08/08 By: Mary Vorsino

"Test fail to detect victim's DNA"

Honolulu StarBulletein: 4/08/08 By: Nelson Daranciang


Fourth Week

"Lankford's account disputed"

Honolulu Advertiser: 4/5/08 By: Jim Dooley

"Expert discounts Lankfords' story"

Honolulu StarBulletin: 4/5/08 By: Nelson Daranciang

"Surprise at Lankfords' murder trial"

KGMB9: Video 4/4/08 By: Jim Mendoza

"Crash Recreation Expert Contradicts Lankfords Testimony"

KHON2: Video 4/4/08 By: Jai Cunningham

"Lankford describes hiding body"

Honolulu Advertiser: 4/3/08 By: Jim Dooley

"Prosecutor asks whether Lankford tailored his story"

Honolulu StarBulletin: 4/3/08 By: Nelson Daranciang

"Lankford testifies"

KGMB9: Video 4/2/08 By: Jim Mendoza

Lankford takes stand on murder trial"

KHNL8: Video 4/2/08 By: Mari-Ela David

"I was ashamed of what I had doned."

Honolulu Advertiser: 4/2/08 By: Jim Dooley

"Lankford details Watanabe's death and her ocean burial"

Honolulu StarBulletin: 4/2/08 By: Nelson Daranciang

"Lankford Testifies; Admits He Lied to Police"

KGMB9: Video 4/1/08 By: Tina Chau

"Lankford admits he hit Watanabe but didn't kill her"

KHON2: Video 4/1/08 By: Jai Cunningham

"Lankford takes stand on Murder Trial"

KHNL8: Video 4/1/08 By: Mari-Ela David

"Jury visits alleged death site"

Honolulu Advertiser: 4/1/08 By: Jim Dooley

"Defense shows jury a rock"

Honolulu StarBulletin: 4/1/08 By: Nelson Daranciang

"Lankford Jury Takes Second Excursion"

KGMB9: Video 3/31/08 By: Jim Mendoza

"Another field trip for Lankfords' murder trial jurors"

KHON2: Video 3/31/08 By: Jai Cunningham


Third Week

"Watanabe's father 'shocked' by Lankfords' story"

Honolulu Advertiser: 3/21/08 By: Jim Dooley

"Pathologist testifies at trial"

Honolulu StarBulletin: 3/21/08 By: Neslson Daranciang

"Lankfords' Defense Tries to Bolster Case"

KGMB9: VIDEO 3/20/08 By: Brooks Baehr

"Lankfords' defense blames death on leap from truck"

Honolulu StarBulletin: 3/20/08 By: Nelson Daranciang, Read Comments

"Defense says Watanabe died in leap from truck"

Honolulu Advertiser: 3/20/08 By: Jim Dooley

"Lankford Admits Guilt But Not Murder"

KGMB9 VIDEO: 3/19/08 By: Jim Mendoza

"Lankford hit Masumi, but didn't kill her"

KHON2: VIDEO 3/19/08 By: Jai Cunningham

"Lawyer claims "Lankford disposed of body, not murder"

KITV4: VIDEO 3/19/08


Second Week

"Lankford murder trial travels to North shore"

Honolulu Advertiser: 3/15/08 By: Jim Dooley
Photo Gallery and Video included

"Jury retraces steps in Masumi Watanabe case"

Honolulu StarBulletin: 3/15/08 By: Nelson Daranciang

"Lankford murder trial takes field trip"

KHON2 Video 3/14/08 By: Jai Cunningham

"Lankfords' Murder Trial Goes to the North Shore"

KGMB9 Video: 3/14/08 By: Sabrina Hall

"Lankford jurors visit Pupukea amid tension between attorneys"

KHNL Video 3/14/08 By: Leland Kim

"Search for body continues a year later"

Honolulu Advertiser: 3/14/08 By: Jim Dooley

"Lankford Trial Day 7: DNA Evidence"

KGMB9 Video 3/13/08 By: Sabrina Hall

"D.N.A. Evidence introduced at Lankfords' murder trial"

KHON2: VIDEO 3/13/08 By: Jai Cunningham

"Police Interview of Lankford Played in Court"

KGMB Video 3/12/08

"Suspect buys shovel in video, officer says"

Honolulu Starbulletin: 3/11/08 By: Nelson Daranciang

"Video Evidence Revealed in Lankfords' Case"

KGMB9 Video 3/10/08 By: Brooks Baehr


First Week

"Man recalls Lankford digging by flashlight"

Honolulu Advertiser: 3/08/08 By: Jim Dooley

"Man testifies he caught murder suspect digging hole"

KHNL8: Video 3/7/08 By Minna Sugimoto

"Accused murderer might argue accident"

Honolulu Advertiser: 3/6/08 By Jim Dooley

"Masumi Watanabe's grieving mother testifies at murder trial"

KHNL8: Video 3/5/08 By Minna Sugimoto

"Grieving mother testifies at murder trial"

KHON2: VIDEO 3/5/08 By: Jai Cunningham

"First witness testifies in murder trial"

Honolulu Advertiser: March 4, 2008 By: Dan Nakaso

"Witnesses link victim to pest control truck"

Honolulu StarBulletin: March 4, 2008 By: Nelson Daranciang

" Opening arguements for murder trial"

KGMB9: Video 3/3/08 By: Stacy Loe

"Trial Opens for Man Accused of Killing Japanese Tourist Masumi Watanabe"

KHNL8: Video 3/3/08 By: By Minna Sugimoto


The Pre-Trial

"Hawaii murder suspect seen digging in ground"

Honolulu Advertiser: February 20, 2008

"Hawaii judge blocks murder trial evidence"

Honolulu Advertiser: November 16, 2007 By: Jim Dooley


The murder trial of Masumi Watanabe has been postponed
from November 5, 2007, to February 20, 2008.
As reported by the Honolulu Advertiser and the Honolulu Star-Bulletin

Presiding Judge: The Honorable Karl Sakamoto
Prosecuting Attorney: Peter Carlisle
Case I.D. 1PC07-1-000822
Udpates on the trial proceedings available on the Ho'ohiki search tab.