Maui Hui leader sentenced
Kema Kanakaole pleads no contest to a misdemeanor charge
WAILUKU » The head of a group trying to protect hunting and gathering resources in East Maui has been placed on a year probation after pleading no contest to a misdemeanor charge for pushing a real estate agent on a Hana parcel of land.
Kema Kanakaole, 39, president of the Eastside Hui, also will be taking anger-management courses and serving 100 hours of community service.
Kanakaole, who pleaded no contest to third-degree assault, received the sentence Monday from Maui Circuit Judge Richard Bissen.
Earlier this year, Kanakaole's Eastside Hui was being investigated by Maui police to determine whether it was a "domestic terrorism" group, which has tried to limit the taking of fish and other resources from East Maui.
No charges related to domestic terrorism have been filed against any member of the group.
Kanakaole, who lives with his wife and six children in Hana, has publicly said the hui will not support those breaking the law in the name of protecting resources.
During the sentencing, Kanakaole admitted he had physical contact with real estate agent Froyam Edel on property near Kanakaole's home on Dec. 21.
But Kanakaole said he did not intentionally hurt Edel and tripped into him on a pasture slope.
Kanakaole said he was upset because his 11-year-old son complained about being teased by a man who said the pasture property had been sold. Kanakaole said he wanted to tell the man not to speak to his son inappropriately and to ask the man his intentions about the land.
Kanakaole's attorney, Chris Dunn, said his client was under the impression that the land being discussed belonged to his wife's family.
Kanakaole said after the physical contact, he apologized and helped the man to his feet.
Edel said he never saw Kanakaole's son that day and never teased anyone. Edel said he was flung about 10 feet and that Kanakaole neither offered to help him up nor apologized.
Deputy Prosecutor Scott Hanano said the prosecution and Edel agreed that Kanakaole should not go to jail.
"Our main goal was to get him into rehabilitation to address the specifics of his behavior," Hanano said. "We're satisfied with this result."
Bissen, who noted Kanakaole had a prior family abuse conviction in 1990, turned down his request to clear his record after serving probation.
Dunn said he was satisfied with the result of the sentencing but would have liked to have had Bissen allow Kanakaole to remove the third-degree assault from his record after probation.
"My feeling is Kema is ... a nonviolent man who just wanted to protect his property and his family," Dunn said.