Man faces life in assault on baby


POSTED: Thursday, November 05, 2009

A man who admitted throwing around his 7-month-old daughter inside a van faces life in prison with the possibility for parole when he is sentenced in January.

The same jury that found Pulumataala Eli guilty in June of attempted manslaughter found him eligible yesterday for the life sentence. The usual penalty for attempted manslaughter is 20 years in prison.

The girl's mother testified at trial that Eli, 34, threw their daughter around inside their van at Ala Moana Beach Park on Oct. 24, 2007, during an argument about her intention to leave him and to call off their wedding.

She said Eli blamed their daughter for causing the breakup. The baby suffered permanent brain damage

Under state law, a defendant is eligible for an extended sentence for the protection of the public and if the victim is 8 or younger.

Eli pleaded guilty in 2004 to first-degree assault and two counts of carrying a firearm without a permit. He was on parole for those convictions when he injured his daughter.