Tuesday, November 9, 1999

By Dennis Oda, Star-Bulletin
Former police officer David Chun and his wife, Laura, following
his sentencing in federal court yesterday. U.S. District Court
Judge Alan Kay sentenced Chun to four years and
three months in prison.

Convicted former
cop headed for
mainland prison

David Chun pleaded guilty
to beating a prisoner then
conspiring to cover it up

By Debra Barayuga


A former police officer who pleaded guilty to beating a man in police custody and later conspiring with other officers to cover up the beating will spend the holidays with his family before heading to a federal prison on the mainland.

U.S. District Judge Alan C. Kay yesterday sentenced David Chun, 31, to 51 months in federal prison on each of three counts, to be served concurrently. Chun faced between 51 to 63 months under federal sentencing guidelines.

Kay also sentenced Chun to three years supervised release and ordered him to pay $7,566 restitution and a $5,000 fine for the "unprovoked and brutal" beating of Halawa prison guard Richard Doolin.

Kay sentenced Chun on the lower end of the guidelines, saying he felt it unlikely that Chun would commit another crime and that he has accepted responsibility for his actions, and because of his outstanding service to the community, including six years in the Army and service in the Gulf War.

Kay criticized Chun however for his "code of honor" in refusing to cooperate with investigators in the ongoing case against the four other officers.

"Your allegiance should be to our community which you swore to protect, rather than the criminals" he was protecting, Kay said.

Chun was one of five officers indicted in June by a federal grand jury for beating Doolin -- who had been arrested for violating a court order that he stay away from his wife -- and for conspiring to cover-up the beating and filing a false report.

More than 75 people, including Chun's wife, Laura, and uniformed and plainclothes police officers, filled the courtroom at yesterday's sentencing. Two of his four co-defendants who are to go to trial in April also were present.

Yesterday, Chun apologized to the court, his family and the community for his actions.

"I realized that I did make a very serious mistake," he said. "I'm here today because I realize the consequences of my mistake and need to accept my punishment for it."

Chun resigned from the department in July after six years on the force.

"I want you to know that I'm very proud of him," his wife said outside the courtroom.

Fellow officers present during the sentencing had few words to say about Chun's sentence.

Officer Jesus Rosalez said the incident affected many who knew and worked with Chun.

"He's a good friend," Rosalez said. "It's hurtful."

Chun is to turn himself in at 10 a.m. Jan. 24, 2000, to a facility designated by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.

Also charged in the federal indictment were Sgt. George DeRamos, Brian Punzal, A.C. Brown and Jesse Nozawa. All pleaded not guilty and are free on a $10,000 signature bond until their trial.

The officers have been reassigned to desk duty until then, said police spokeswoman Jean Motoyama.

Chun pleaded guilty in July to one count each of conspiracy, deprivation of rights and conspiracy to obstruct justice for his role in the August 1995 incident, saying he wanted to take responsibility for his actions.

Chun, however, said he would not "name names" or report other officers' conduct to improve his own circumstances, actions he said would be "inhuman, indecent and dishonorable."

This was Chun's first criminal conviction. He also is facing a wrongful death suit, which is pending in Circuit Court.

The family of Robert Rapoza Jr. last year filed a lawsuit against Chun and other yet-unnamed officers regarding a July 1996 beating of Rapoza at the police cellblock, which caused injuries that resulted in his death two years later.

Chun's attorney James Pallett, who characterized his client as an "all-American Boy Scout," argued for a downward departure from sentencing guidelines, citing Chun's "exemplary service" to the community and his susceptibility to abuse in prison.

"The reality of time for police officers (in prison) is hard time," Pallett said.

Chun is the second officer to plead guilty in Doolin's beating.

Officer William Duarte, who was not named in the indictment, pleaded guilty June 3 to two misdemeanor counts of conspiring to violate Doolin's civil rights. He will be sentenced Dec. 2.

Doolin last year received a $300,000 out-of-court settlement from the city over the beating and will be a witness in the federal case.

He is currently under house arrest until a February trial on drug charges unrelated to the beating. He was suspended from the Department of Public Safety shortly after the charges were brought.

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