No jail time for woman who killed 2 in crash


POSTED: Thursday, January 22, 2009

William Sua demanded eye contact from the female motorist who ran over him and killed his two friends two years ago.


;[Preview] Kane Faces No Jail For Teenage Deaths

23 -year-old Tiati Kane plowed into a group of teenagers at a roadside memorial two and a half years ago.

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  “;You don't know how much I hate you right now,”; Sua, who was then 18, said through tears to Tiati Kane in Kaneohe District Court yesterday. “;I'm just not the same person anymore.”;

Kane met his glance from the defendant's table during testimony from friends and family of Orem “;Benson”; Kauvaka, 16, and Summer-Lynn Mau, 19, who died after being hit while mourning at a memorial site for an earlier traffic death on Aug. 19, 2006, in Hauula.

Kane, 23, pleaded no contest last week to two counts of third-degree negligent homicide and one count of second-degree negligent injury.

Circuit Judge Reynaldo Graulty allowed for the possibility that Kane's criminal conviction could be struck from the record a year from now. And although prosecutors requested at least six months of jail time, Graulty let Kane go free.

Kane testified in clear distress that she also has not been the same since the crash.

“;How can I ask them to forgive me when I cannot forgive myself?”; she asked the judge as she looked at the victims' families.

The judge cited a defense investigation and court-ordered psychiatric investigation that Kane was robbed, assaulted and “;possibly raped”; before the accident and that she was being chased by three men that night.

The judge also listed Kane's mental treatment history, including two suicide attempts, four psychiatric admissions to Castle Medical Center and a diagnosis of bipolar disorder and other “;psychotic features.”;

Kane was asked only to pay restitution to the victims' families in an amount yet to be determined, and to continue her mental treatment. She was also fined $1,250.

“;It is in the public's interest that she be successful in her mental treatment,”; Graulty said.

Deputy Prosecutor Katrina Ordonio disputed Kane's claims of an assault and pursuit, saying they were never confirmed. But Graulty said the prosecution never challenged the claims and that he made the decision based on the facts presented.

Graulty said if Kane had gone to trial, she may have received a not-guilty verdict based on insanity.

“;A case this big should've been investigated more thoroughly,”; said bereaved mother Shelly Mau, between sighs, after the sentencing. “;We still don't have the facts of the investigation.”;

The victims' family members, in tearful testimony, asked not for vengeance, but justice.

Lata Sua was the first parent to respond to the accident, where she saw the body of Kauvaka.

“;His eyes were still open,”; said Sua. “;I was the one who closed them. I've never done that to anyone before.”;

After the sentencing, Summer-Lynn Mau's parents sat quietly outside the courtroom, and later expressed disappointment in the justice system.

“;The prosecutors themselves never did their job,”; Shelly Mau said.

When asked her thoughts on the sentencing, Orem Kauvaka's mother, Saane, said only, “;We understand,”; before going outside to embrace the Mau parents.