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Prosecutor: Strangulation cases number about one a week

A deputy prosecutor assigned to prosecute domestic strangulation cases says there’s a new case almost every week.

According to Suzanna Tiapula, the two most recent cases in Hilo involve men arrested on the same day, 34-year-old Marques K.A. Kahihikolo and 46-year-old Justan B. Doyle.

Both were arrested Dec. 16 and charged with domestic abuse by strangulation, a Class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison, plus misdemeanor domestic abuse, a misdemeanor. Kahihikolo also was charged with second-degree terroristic threatening, a misdemeanor.

Both men appeared in Hilo Family Court the following day.

According to court records, both were granted supervised release from custody without bail by Judge Dakota Frenz over the objection of prosecutors until their preliminary hearing dates, Jan. 9 for Doyle and Jan. 16 for Kahihikolo.

The reason cited by the judge for elimination of bail, $4,000 in Kahihikolo’s case and $3,000 in Doyle’s, was a lack of criminal history by the defendants.

Both men were ordered by the court to stay away from the alleged victims in the cases, both of whom are women.

Nor did alleged domestic strangulation take a holiday.

Jack Kaleikapu Hui, 41, of Ocean View was arrested on Christmas Eve for domestic abuse by strangulation, second degree terroristic threatening and interfering with the report of an emergency or crime.

A preliminary hearing Dec. 27 in Kona District Court found probable cause exists to prosecute Hui in Kona Circuit Court. Judge Cynthia Tai maintained Hui’s $1,250 bail.

Tiapula said about 50 felony strangulation cases are in the system, islandwide. While most of those hover below the media radar, at least two relatively recent East Hawaii cases — one domestic abuse case and a non-domestic strangulation case — have garnered attention in the local media.

On Oct. 10, Nikki Nasario was sentenced to 10 years in prison with credit for time served for her role as an accomplice the bizarre January abduction and ligature strangulation — which means a cord or rope was used — of a 31-year-old woman unrelated to Nasario who told police she was hit with a tire iron, stuffed into the trunk of a car at gunpoint and taken from a Hawaiian Beaches residence where she was staying. Nasario pleaded guilty to kidnapping, second-degree assault and driving a stolen vehicle.

And Bronson L. Ganigan, 36, of Honokaa, has pleaded not guilty to 14 criminal charges including kidnapping, second-degree assault, first-degree reckless endangering, first-degree cruelty to animals, two counts of felony domestic abuse and first-degree terroristic threatening, and three counts each of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and second-degree reckless endangering.

Ganigan is accused of a holding a woman against her will for more than two days in August 2017 until she reportedly escaped and ran about a quarter-mile to a relative’s home, allegedly strangling the woman and putting a gun to her head and pulling the trigger. The gun didn’t discharge. Ganigan is also accused of having beaten, stomped and shot a small dog to death during the alleged rampage.

He was found mentally fit to proceed October and is was ordered to appear for trial June 19 before Hilo Circuit Judge Greg Nakamura.

East Hawaii strangulation cases where defendants pled guilty to a felony charge in 2018 include:

• Quintin Lorenzana-Vea, sentenced April 10 to five years probation and a year in jail, suspended, on two counts of felony domestic abuse. He has a hearing scheduled for two alleged violations of a protective order on Jan. 16 and another for allegedly violating his probation on Feb. 12.

• Albert Mahi Jr., sentenced Aug. 30 to five years probation and six months in jail on felony domestic abuse and second-degree terroristic threatening.

• Michael Ikutaro O’Brien, sentenced July 17 to five years probation and three months in jail on two counts of felony domestic abuse. In another family court case, was convicted of violating a protective order and sentenced to three months hail.

• Marcus Torres-Hoohuli, sentenced May 8 to five years probation and 30 days jail for felony domestic abuse and second-degree terroristic threatening.

Other East Hawaii strangulation cases still in the system include:

• Daven Lerma, scheduled for jury trial Jan. 22 on two counts of felony domestic abuse.

• Jesse F. Canizo, found fit to proceed Dec. 14 on kidnapping, third-degree criminal property damage, misdemeanor domestic abuse and three counts each of second-degree assault and felony domestic abuse.

• Shawn Dennison, hearing to set trial Jan. 15 on felony domestic abuse and second-degree terroristic threatening.

• Ashton J. Hayashi, hearing for change of plea Jan. 14 on felony domestic abuse.

• Paea I. Tilini, next hearing Feb. 1 on felony domestic abuse.

Email John Burnett at
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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