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South Kona man faces prison for fatal crash in Ohio

KAILUA-KONA — A South Kona man whose flight from police resulted in a traffic crash that killed a 22-year-old woman in Ohio faces prison time when sentenced next week.

Joshua C.P.I. Kalili pleaded guilty Nov. 27 to third-degree aggravated vehicular homicide, abduction, assault of a law enforcement officer and operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant in connection with an April 18 incident in Ravenna Township, Ohio. He will learn his fate Monday before Portage County Common Judge Becky Doherty.

The vehicular homicide charge carries the longest potential sentence of five years incarceration, followed by 36 months for abduction, 18 months for assault of a law enforcement officer and 180 days for DUI, in addition to fines and restitution, according to court documents.

In exchange for Kalili’s plea, the state agreed to drop nine remaining charges, including second-degree aggravated vehicular homicide, kidnapping, assault, two counts resisting arrest, reckless driving, tail/license plate lighting and misdemeanor charges for marijuana and heroin metabolites detected in his system.

Kalili’s plea followed evidence being thrown out in the case in early October after it was discovered a blood sample was collected outside of Ohio law.

The blood sample that was taken from Kalili was taken at 5:11 a.m., more than five hours after the initial stop. Under Ohio law, the blood sample would have had to be taken at most three hours after the initial stop.

According to the Ohio State Patrol, the crash occurred at 11:54 p.m. April 18 after Highway Patrol stopped a 2002 Oldsmobile Bravada being driven by a man, who was later identified as Kalili, on state Highway 59 for a registration violation. During the stop, “criminal indicators and signs of impairment were observed,” according to a press release from the Highway Patrol. A Ravenna police officer was called to assist.

Kalili was asked to exit the car for investigative purposes and placed in the backseat of a police cruiser. Inside the police vehicle, he was observed moving suspiciously and was then removed, at which point, according to police, Kalili began to resist and assault the trooper and officer.

A taser was deployed multiple times on Kalili, but he was able to flee the scene in the vehicle. The rear passenger of the Bravada was able to get out of the car before Kalili fled and was not charged in connection with the incident.

Kalili fled westbound on Highway 59 and onto a private roadway, where he struck a concrete barrier with the car, killing a female passenger, later identified as Brianna N. Lewandowski, 22, of Springfield Township, Ohio, who stayed in the vehicle when Kalili fled.

Kalili then fled on foot. Law enforcement personnel from several agencies searched for the Honaunau man. He was found at about 1:25 a.m. in a nearby mobile home park and taken into custody.

Kalili has been in custody in lieu of $1 million bail since the crash.

Email Chelsea Jensen at
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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