A 20-year-old Hawaiian Paradise Park man was sentenced on Friday to 25 years in prison for a brutal attack on a neighbor during an October 2011 home invasion.
In a deal with prosecutors, Seferin Tilipau pleaded guilty in January to charges of first-degree burglary, first-degree assault, first-degree robbery and unauthorized entry to a motor vehicle. In exchange for his guilty plea, prosecutors dropped a charge of second-degree attempted murder, which carries a mandatory life sentence upon conviction.
According to court records, Deputy Prosecutor Shannon Kagawa asked Hilo Circuit Judge Greg Nakamura for a 30-year-prison term, while Tilipau’s attorney, Deputy Public Defender Melody Parker, requested that Tilipau be sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Tilipau forced his way into the home of then-69-year-old Mary Davy on Oct. 22, 2011, punched her in the face and stabbed her numerous times with a pair of the woman’s gardening shears.
Tilipau, who is deaf, was assisted in court by two sign language interpreters, one for American Sign Language and another to translate to and from ASL in a sign language dialect understood by Tilipau.
The judge said during sentencing that Tilipau’s conduct was so seriously dangerous as to warrant consecutive sentences on the assault and unauthorized entry to a motor vehicle charges for the purposes of punishment, deterrence and community protection.