WAIMEA — A 34-year-old man and a 27-year-old woman will stand trial in connection with an early January robbery in the Puako area.
Family Court Judge Mahilani E.K. Hiatt on Tuesday found probable cause to support the various charges filed against Aaron A. K. Melim and Ryhan A. Rickman, both of Hilo, during a continued preliminary hearing and sent the case to Circuit Court for adjudication.
Melim faces charges of second-degree robbery, accomplice to unauthorized entry into a vehicle and second-degree assault. Rickman was charged with robbery, accomplice to second-degree robbery, accomplice to second-degree assault and accomplice to unauthorized entry into a vehicle.
Both are slated to make their initial appearances in 3rd Circuit Court on Feb. 6 before Judge Robert D.S. Kim where they will enter pleas to the charges.
The charges stem from a reported robbery that occurred on Jan. 7 near Puako Boat Ramp in South Kohala. A third suspect in the case is still at large.
Melim and Rickman were located in the Papaikou area on Jan. 10 and charged on Jan. 11 after a search warrant on the vehicle they were found in revealed stolen property from the alleged victim.
Tuesday’s hearing was a continuation of a preliminary hearing that began on Jan. 15. During the first day of the preliminary hearing, the victim took the stand, recounting the incident, telling the court he’d went to meet with Rickman, a friend who asked for gas money. But when they arrived at an empty lot near the boat ramp, two men got out of the backseat of Rickman’s car.
The victim testified he was assaulted and “left for dead” by two men and a woman. During the incident, the victim’s car was entered and items were removed, including a Vans backpack, CD deck, work belt and a cellphone.
The victim was ultimately hospitalized at North Hawaii Community Hospital where he learned he suffered a fractured bone above his right eye and a laceration on the head.
On Tuesday, the victim, when questioned by Deputy Prosecutor Britt Bailey, said he ended up being hospitalized for two and a half days.
He also described to the court having to crawl out to the road to get help after the alleged beating.
Hawaii Police Detective Donovan Kohara also took the stand Tuesday and relayed evidence found at the scene, the apprehension of the two suspects in Papaikou and the recovery of some of the stolen property. He also confirmed that the victim was unable to communicate during his first attempt to interview him at the hospital.
After final statements by Bailey and attorneys for Melim and Rickman, Hiatt sent the case to 3rd Circuit Court. She denied supervised release for Rickman and Melim. Bail remains set at $9,000.
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald