Two charges against police shooter dropped
Prosecutors have dropped two of the charges against a 32-year-old Hilo man on trial for allegedly shooting two police officers early last year.
Deputy Prosecutor Darien Nagata on Monday told jurors that two counts of first-degree assault against Keaka Martin were being dropped. The charges were dismissed without prejudice, meaning that the state is free to re-file them.
Martin still faces two counts of attempted first-degree murder for the non-fatal shootings of Hilo patrol officers Garrett Hatada and Joshua Gouveia on the evening of Jan. 2, 2013, in the parking lot of the Pono Place on Kilauea Avenue, the site of the former Green Onion cocktail lounge. He is also charged with second-degree reckless endangering and six firearms charges.
If convicted of attempted first-degree murder, Martin faces a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
Martin’s court-appointed attorney, Steve Strauss, rested the defense’s case on Monday without putting Martin on the stand. His final witness was Officer Anson Caceres, who interviewed Hatada while he was hospitalized.
Closing arguments and jury instructions are expected today in Hilo Circuit Court before deliberations begin.
Both Hatada and Gouveia, who suffered gunshot wounds to their lower extremities, have returned to duty and testified in the trial, which started in early February. Both described the terror of being shot from beneath a modified black van in the the parking lot. Neither was able to get a good view of the shooter, nor could they identify Martin.
A manhunt was mounted after the shooting, and Martin was taken into custody the next day at his sister’s East Palai Street home.
As officers surrounded the house, Martin reportedly shot himself in the chest with a 9-millimeter pistol and was hospitalized in critical condition, but survived.
Martin remains in custody without bail at Hawaii Community Correctional Center.
Email John Burnett at email@example.com.
Rules for posting comments
Comments posted below are from readers. In no way do they represent the view of Oahu Publishing Inc. or this newspaper. This is a public forum.
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content but the newspaper is under no obligation to do so. Comment posters are solely responsible under the Communications Decency Act for comments posted on this Web site. Oahu Publishing Inc. is not liable for messages from third parties.
IP and email addresses of persons who post are not treated as confidential records and will be disclosed in response to valid legal process.
Do not post:
- Potentially libelous statements or damaging innuendo.
- Obscene, explicit, or racist language.
- Copyrighted materials of any sort without the express permission of the copyright holder.
- Personal attacks, insults or threats.
- The use of another person's real name to disguise your identity.
- Comments unrelated to the story.
If you believe that a commenter has not followed these guidelines, please click the FLAG icon below the comment.