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Man sentenced in Kona assault case


Hawaii Prosecuting Attorney Jay Kimura announced that Third Circuit Judge Ronald Ibarra recently sentenced a Kailua-Kona man to two years of incarceration for offenses of Assault and Terroristic Threatening. On April 13, 2010 a jury found Jefferson Scott guilty of two counts of Assault and one count of Terroristic Threatening, all misdemeanors, after a three-day trial. The judge ordered that the two one-year Assault sentences run consecutively to each other. Judge Ibarra imposed another one-year sentence for Terroristic Threatening, to run concurrently with the Assault charges.

The charges arose from an October 18, 2009 incident during which the State alleged the defendant and defendant’s brother beat their Kona neighbor in a dispute which began over neighborhood parking. The State presented evidence that Jefferson Scott punched the neighbor, Leif Martin, and, while Mr. Martin was unconscious, kicked Mr. Martin in the head. The State presented evidence that during the assault, Jefferson Scott asked Mr. Martin if he wanted to die. During the trial, the victim’s wife, Kerry Martin, testified that Jefferson Scott and Scott’s brother beat Mr. Martin and repeatedly threatened the Martin couple. The jury found Jefferson Scott not guilty of the more serious charge of Assault in the Second Degree.

The defendant gave three statements to the police describing the blows to Mr. Martin, which included admissions that he kicked Mr. Martin in the face while Mr. Martin was on the ground and unconscious. Mr. Martin was taken to the Kona Hospital on October 18, 2009, where he was diagnosed with a concussion and multiple fractures to bones around his eye. Deputy Prosecuting Attorneys Joyce Seelen and Kimberly Taniyama introduced the defendant’s prior statements. After considering all of Jefferson Scott’s statements, as well as the testimony of other witnesses, the jury found the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of two counts of Assault and one count of Terroristic Threatening.

Jefferson Scott was sentenced on April 14, 2010 to the two consecutive one·year jail terms. In sentencing the defendant to jail and rejecting the defendant’s request for probation, the judge cited the violent nature of the offenses and the defendant’s criminal history, which included two felonies for Assault and Battery, three misdemeanor convictions for assaults, and a prior weapons conviction. At sentencing, Judge Ibarra told the defendant that his crimes were the most violent misdemeanor assaults that he had seen in his years as a Circuit Court judge. He then ordered that the defendant’s two assault jail terms be run consecutively to each other.

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