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Big Island man ordered to pay $800K for hitting pedestrian

KAILUA-KONA — A Big Island man has been ordered to pay more than $800,000 after he was convicted of hitting a runner while driving under the influence twice within a 24-hour period.

A judge determined Nicholas Martin, 70, was responsible for Robert LaMarca’s medical expenses during a restitution hearing Friday, West Hawaii Today reported .

Martin was sentenced last year to five years in prison after he was convicted of DUI and first-degree negligent injury for striking LaMarca in December 2017.

LaMarca sustained a traumatic brain injury and other severe injuries that left him in a coma for a month. He testified at the hearing to identify 27 bills of treatment, including bills for his medevac to Honolulu, hospital stays, rehabilitation, and surgery in Massachusetts.

Defense attorney Brian De Lima objected to the restitution amount, arguing that LaMarca has not made a demand of payment.

“A lot of those bills say ‘no patient liability’ and the judge still ordered full liability,” De Lima said. “We just think the amount should’ve been more accurate.”

De Lima said he plans to appeal the ruling.

Following the hearing, LaMarca said he felt the judge was fair.

“I’m just glad this stage is over and this is the last time I’m in a courthouse for a long time,” LaMarca said.

The Hawaii Paroling Authority has set a minimum sentence of three years for Martin, so he will be eligible to seek parole in September 2022.


Information from: West Hawaii Today,
Source: The Garden Island

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