Convict shows remorse for fatal beating
A man convicted of beating a fellow homeless man and leaving him to drown in Nuuanu Stream apologized yesterday to the victim's family, saying he takes full responsibility for his actions, but called the incident an "accident."
After a jury-waived trial last August, Circuit Court Judge Richard Perkins found Faitele Faitele guilty of the lesser offense of manslaughter in the death of Reuben Kimura in April 2004. Faitele initially was charged with second-degree murder.
"The court had reasonable doubt about your intent to kill, but there's no excuse for what you did," Perkins said yesterday in denying Faitele's request to be placed on probation.
Instead, Perkins ordered Faitele to serve the statutory maximum of 20 years' imprisonment.
Deputy public defender Walter Rodby had argued for probation, saying Faitele "is through with drinking and feels terrible about what happened."
He asked that Faitele be placed on probation and ordered to undergo a substance abuse assessment.
Deputy Prosecutor Darrell Wong had argued for the maximum, saying Faitele was a danger to the community.
Faitele was intoxicated and high on "ice" and marijuana at the time and believed that Kimura was responsible for him getting kicked out of the Institute for Human Services.
Faitele, also known as Bow Wow, did not dispute at trial that he assaulted Kimura in Aala Park and shoved him into the stream. He later pulled Kimura out of the water after acquaintances urged him to but later pushed him back in when he saw blood pouring from Kimura's ears and panicked, believing he was dead, he testified at trial.
Kimura died from drowning after suffering massive head injuries. Witnesses said he was punched and kicked so hard that he resembled a "human yo-yo."