Wednesday, November 24, 1999

Bank robbery suspect
to plead guilty

By Debra Barayuga


Another of the men charged with robbing the Kahala American Savings Bank in July was expected to withdraw his not guilty plea today, under an agreement with the U.S. government.

Sean Matsunaga, 20, was scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Barry Kurren and plead guilty in connection with the armed takeover that netted him and three codefendants about $110,000.

Matsunaga was charged with bank robbery and a firearms offense. Another codefendant, Jacob Hayme, changed his plea to guilty on the same charges Monday. Both face 35 years in prison -- 25 years on the bank robbery and a mandatory 10 years on the firearms offense -- because a semi-automatic weapon was used while committing the robbery, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Ron Johnson.

Both may testify for the prosecution against another codefendant, Albert Raymond Batalona, who faces a state charge of first-degree attempted murder for shooting at a police officer who responded to the robbery. He will go to trial next year.

Matsunaga's and Hayme's sentences could be reduced depending on their cooperation, U.S. Attorney Steve Alm said. They will be sentenced after Batalona's trial.

Another codefendant, Roger Dailey, has cooperated with authorities, including providing information that resulted in the arrest of his cohorts.

Dailey faces up to 25 years in prison on a bank robbery charge and prosecutors have agreed not to charge him with any other offenses stemming from the robbery. He also will be sentenced after Batalona's trial.

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