2 jailed in
visitor’s beating

The California tourist suffers
permanent memory loss

Two of three men convicted of assaulting a California visitor near the Hawaii Convention Center a year ago -- leaving him in a coma for several days -- were sentenced yesterday.

Circuit Judge Karl Sakamoto ordered Solomon Kahalewai, 24, who was convicted of second-degree assault, to five years of probation with 52 consecutive weekends in jail.

Sakamoto also ordered Christopher Hicks, 20, convicted of first-degree assault, to five years in prison. First-degree assault is punishable by a 10-year prison term, but the court agreed to sentence Hicks as a youthful offender, effectively cutting his sentence in half.


Both defendants were also ordered to pay $2,440 in restitution to the victim.

The two were charged with second-degree attempted murder, and convicted of the lesser charges.

Neither Hicks nor Kahalewai have prior criminal histories. They expressed remorse yesterday for their actions and apologized to the defendant.

"He's never been in trouble with the law all his life," said Kahalewai's attorney, Richard Hoke.

Deputy Public Defender Walter Rodby, who represented Hicks, could not be reached for comment.

The victim, 21-year-old Ivan Kaloyanov, suffered permanent injuries, including loss of memory and inability to concentrate and can no longer work as a lifeguard.

The attack on Kaloyanov apparently stemmed from an earlier altercation he had with a third defendant, Johnston Kapua, outside the Blue Tropix nightclub on Kapiolani Boulevard. Kapua headbutted Kaloyanov, believing the visitor was trying to "pick up" the girlfriend of Kapua's nephew outside the club. The three men later circled the convention center area looking for Kaloyanov and his friend. They attacked Kaloyanov, but his friend escaped.

A June 14 trial is set for Kapua, charged with second-degree attempted murder. Witnesses, including his codefendants, told police Kapua stomped on Kaloyanov's head two to six times as he lay on the ground bleeding and unconscious.


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