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Asing sentenced to 10 years for 2008 Kona car crash


From the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney

Hawaii County Prosecuting Attorney Jay Kimura announced that on June 4, 2010, Kona Judge Elizabeth Strance sentenced Liko Asing to concurrent prison sentences of 10 years for the Negligent Homicide in the First Degree death of Thomas Kapena Keliinohomoku, to 5 years for Negligent Injury in the First Degree to Jeremiah Kaluau, to 5 years for recklessly endangering a minor and 5 days for driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

The Hawaii State Parole Board will determine the minimum amount of time the defendant must serve before he is considered for parole.

The defendant pled guilty to the offenses which resulted from a high speed Kona chase on Route 19 the early morning hours April 6, 2008. The truck driven by Liko Asing flipped and crashed near the 95 mile marker.

Passenger Keliinohomoku, called “Pena” by his friends, was 19 years old and was killed at the scene.

Passenger Kaluau suffered a spine fracture. The defendant, currently 27 years old, broke his back and is confined to a wheelchair with paraparesis.

Witnesses said the defendant was driving at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour. Tests done at the time confirmed that the defendant was intoxicated and had cocaine and marijuana in his system at the time he lost control of his truck which landed in the adjacent lava field.

The courtroom was crowded with friends and family of both the defendant and Pena. Judge Strance, in rejecting a request for probation and instead sentencing the defendant to prison, said that the defendant had to be held accountable for his “reckless behavior.”

In imposing a prison sentence, the court considered several factors, including risk to the community and the need to make “meaningful change” to curb that risk. The judge commented on the general concern of many area residents who do not want to drive island roads because of deaths that have been caused by reckless driving that is, more often than not, combined with drinking and drugging.

The judge said negligent homicide is not just an accident: “It is a decision to drink; it is a decision to do drugs and it is a decision to drive.”

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, Joyce Seelen, had requested the prison sentence citing the defendant’s apparent rage while chasing another truck, combined with the danger caused by ingestion of alcohol, marijuana and cocaine.

She argued the defendant, who had been convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol once before, be held accountable for the death and injury that he had caused.

Defendant’s attorney, William Harrison, had requested the defendant be placed on probation. The indictment in the criminal case was returned in August of 2008, 4 months after the homicide.

Multiple delays requested by the defendant continued both scheduled trials and sentencing.

3 Responses to “Asing sentenced to 10 years for 2008 Kona car crash”

  1. Jennifer Collins says:

    It is a sad ending to a sad event no one benefits from the decision to drink and drive…. can we please all learn something from these young people? We have already lost so much and this year has been particularly hard. Please remember that driving is a privilege and comes with great responsiblity. Please Please please think before you drink and make plans to be safe: there are people who can’t imagine living without you!

  2. tyler says:

    that is my friend and he is in his own prison he doint need to be put behing bars.what harm is he to the poblic .i think he feeling the hert and loss his desition to drive and if u all new the hole story u would agre with me .liko be strong and god be with u on this jorney hawaiin .

  3. Justin asing says:

    Liko is my cousin and I have always looked up to him. I remember seeing him at the hospital. I was going through and still are tough times. He doesnt deserve to be in there. I’m not saying free him but atleast give him a second chance. The law does it’s job only up to sentencing . If certain variables can change the situation of committing a crime, then why can’t it be the same for sentencing? He’s in a wheelchair and I still am in shock to know that this is what’s his punishment. A life was lost and another was also shortened, why take away anymore from him? ten years is a long time. Ten days is a long time. But to kick a man when he’s down, that’s even worse than when the punishment is justified.would the deceased if he could speak from the heavens want this to be the life that his friend now lives?


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