WAILUKU - A 28-year-old man involved in the beating of another man after a night of drinking was sentenced last week to one year in jail.
Second Circuit Judge Joseph Cardoza ordered Elliot Kamalii, also known as Elliott K.P. Kamalii, to pay $1,733 in restitution.
Cardoza said Kamalii took part in an incident that could have cost a person's life. He noted that the victim in the case was in intensive care at the hospital following the beating.
Cardoza added that Kamalii must overcome his longstanding problem with alcohol or face some dire consequences.
"It's something that will kill you," Cardoza said.
Cardoza acknowledged that Kamalii wanted probation instead of jail time, but he told Kamalii to accept the sentence and make plans to move his life forward.
"I'm truly sorry for the actions that I have done," Kamalii said. "I'm really sorry for Chaz (the victim)."
Deputy Prosecutor Mark Simonds said Kamalii acknowledged punching Chaz Yamashita in the face outside the Ale House Restaurant and Sports Bar in Kahului. He said witnesses reported they saw Kamalii beating Yamashita later in Wailuku that same night.
But Kamalii told the court Thursday he did not take part in the beating in Wailuku.
Simonds asked for jail time for the defendant, noting that Kamalii, who was let out on supervised release after his change of plea, did not show up for further court appearances. It took authorities seven months to find and apprehend him, Simonds said.
Kamalii said that after being released he was homeless and living under a bridge.
Defense attorney Joseph Rome said he was upset that Kamalii did not show up for his court appointments, but he acknowledged that his client was homeless and felt that he had nowhere to go.
Rome argued Kamalii would be a good candidate for probation. He has a fiancee and has accepted his fiancee's daughter as his own, the attorney pointed out.
He added that Kamalii has no prior felony convictions.
While Rome said he was not picking on his client's victim, he told the court that the victim was highly intoxicated and had cocaine and marijuana in his system during the scuffle.
Kamalii pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of third-degree assault. The charge stems from an incident on April 3, 2010, in which Kamalii, Yamashita, Bruce Ortiz and others were at the Ale House Restaurant and Sports Bar in Kahului, court records show.
There, Ortiz asked Yamashita for a ride to Watercress Sports Bar & Grill. According to previous court testimony, when Yamashita refused, Ortiz punched him the mouth. Kamalii also punched Yamashita in the face, according to court testimony Thursday.
Yamashita later drove Ortiz and others to the Wailuku bar, where Yamashita was beaten and left on the ground on Lower Waiehu Beach Road.
In May, Ortiz was sentenced to six months in jail and five years' probation. He also was ordered to pay $1,733 in restitution.