Tuesday, September 21, 1999

Bank robber to
testify against
other defendants

By Debra Barayuga


One of four men charged in the July robbery at the Kahala American Savings branch has agreed in a plea agreement to testify against his co-defendants.

Roger Dailey, 33, a landscaper from Waipahu, yesterday waived his right to be indicted and changed his plea to guilty in the armed takeover that netted them about $110,000.

U.S. prosecutors said Dailey's guilty plea is the first step toward his rehabilitation.

Judge Alan Kay yesterday accepted Dailey's plea but withheld approving the plea agreement until he reviews a pre-sentence report.

Under the agreement, the government has agreed not to charge Dailey with any other offenses from the bank robbery. Dailey has agreed to cooperate in any federal and state trials stemming from the robbery.

Dailey has cooperated with authorities and provided information, which resulted in the arrest of his co-defendants, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Ron Johnson.

Dailey faces up to 25 years imprisonment, fines of up to $250,000 and five years' supervised release upon his release from prison when sentenced July 31, 1999. He also may be required to pay restitution of up to $10,000.

He has been free after posting a $25,000 signature bond, on the condition he be held under protective custody by Honolulu police Specialized Services officers.

According to Johnson, Dailey admitted to entering the American Savings on July 7 with Albert Batalona, Jacob Hayme and Sean Matsunaga.

He told officials that Batalona, Hayme and Matsunaga drew weapons and ordered bank customers and employees to the floor and demanded money.

The customers and employees were threatened with force if they failed to comply. One employee was hit in the back so the robbers could gain access to the teller currency dispenser.

Dailey said he helped take money from the bank, then he and Batalona fled in a stolen white four-wheel-drive vehicle.

Dailey is expected to testify that Batalona stood on the running board of the vehicle and he could hear shots being fired. More details on Dailey's role in the heist is expected to come out at trial.

U.S. Attorney Steve Alm said he is pleased to see Dailey take responsibility for his role in the bank robbery.

"I think it was an event that in some way traumatized the community," said Alm, applauding the work by Honolulu police and the FBI in "pulling out all the stops" in apprehending the suspects.

Hayme and Matsunaga are being held without bail pending prosecution in federal court. They have been charged with additional counts, including weapons violations.

Federal charges against Batalona were dismissed in August after the state indicted him on more serious offenses, including first-degree attempted murder.

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