Nanakuli man, 19, admits deadly punch
A brawl last summer leads to charges of manslaughter after a coma patient dies
A 19-year-old Nanakuli man admitted to police that he punched Alexander Baron Saballa in the left temple during a July 22 fight, causing him to fall backward and hit a cement curb.
Saballa remained in a coma until he died Oct. 9.
Kristopher K.K. Kalani, who appeared in court yesterday, was originally wanted for second-degree murder but was charged with manslaughter instead. He is being held on $75,000 bail.
Saballa's family believes that the bail amount is too low, said his aunt Rebecca Medeiros.
Medeiros said her sister was in court to hear Kalani "claiming he just hit my nephew, and he doesn't feel he killed him."
Medeiros said she believes Kalani did not act alone, but if he is willing to take the fall, he should receive the maximum punishment.
A section of Saballa's skull had to be removed due to the brain swelling from the beating, and he was blinded in one eye, Medeiros said. "His body just started curling up. We had to watch our nephew die."
A witness who identified Kalani as the one who struck Saballa said he hit him with some type of unknown metal tool during the fight, according to a police affidavit.
A detective questioned Kalani, who had been in custody at the main police station on an unrelated bench warrant Friday, about Saballa's death. Kalani was then arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder.
Saballa died from multiple organ failure due to complications from blunt-force injuries to the head received in an assault, according to the Medical Examiner's Office, and his death was ruled a homicide.
Saballa had been paroled from the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility in 2005 and had been in and out of the facility for parole violations. He was initially incarcerated for criminal property damage.
On July 21, Saballa and his parents met with administrators of the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility to discuss his release.
He was about to graduate from a Kaneohe residential treatment program for at-risk youths and was scheduled to be released from state custody on his 18th birthday, Sept. 1. Instead, Saballa escaped.
The following night, on July 22, police responded to a report of several males fighting at 87-1680 Farrington Highway.
According to a statement made by Medeiros, friends who were hanging out with Saballa at the BK Superette said a group of unknown males arrived and beat them up.
Police found Saballa lying unconscious in the bed of a pickup truck, apparently bleeding from his head, police said in an affidavit.
Another man, David Kaleleiki, was found lying on the ground.
Both Saballa and Kaleleiki were taken by ambulance to the Queen's Medical Center in critical condition.