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Thursday, November 2, 2000

Police officer may
receive reduced sentence
for prisoner’s beating

Star-Bulletin staff

The attorney for a police officer serving 51 months in federal prison for his involvement in the beating of a prisoner said he concurs with the Justice Department's recommendation to reduce his client's sentence by 10 months.

Defense attorney James Pallett said officer David Chun's wife and family are praying for his earliest release and return to Hawaii. Chun pleaded guilty to beating Richard Doolin and conspiring with three other officers to cover up the beating.

U.S. District Judge Alan Kay will decide Nov. 27 whether to grant the government's motion to reduce Chun's sentence to reflect his cooperation with federal prosecutors.

Chun earlier took responsibility for his own actions but refused to testify against his fellow officers also indicted in the beating.

However, one of the officers, Jesse Nozawa, requested that Chun be returned to Hawaii to testify for him at trial.

Chun was told he could either testify truthfully or not testify at all. He chose to cooperate and was placed on the prosecution's witness list.

"His truthful testimony was of assistance to the government and not to the codefendants, and that's why they decided to plead," Pallet said, referring to the subsequent guilty pleas from Jesse Nozawa, Brian Punzal and George DeRamos and A.C. Brown.

Chun is eager to return to his family and work again, Pallet said. Chun served six years in the U.S. Army and six years with the Honolulu Police Department. "He's definitely employable and a hardworking, honest guy," Pallet said.

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