Rapozo, Souza want out of jail

LIHU’E — Two Kapa’a men who were sentenced to prison last year for attacks on two people at two parks want to get out of prison.

James Rapozo and Ashley Souza were sent to prison in October for attacking a person at Lydgate Park, and for attacking William LeGro, a former reporter and editor with The Garden Island newspaper, at another Wailua location in 2003.

Rapozo wishes to be put on probation to seek substance-abuse treatment, while Souza wants his sentence to be reduced.

On Tuesday, Fifth Circuit Court Judge Kathleen N.A. Watanabe set a Feb. 23 hearing on the two matters.

According to court records, Rapozo believes that he is a good candidate for probation because he does not have a prior criminal record.

Court records also show that at the hearing, Souza will come up with testimony, statements and exhibits about why his sentence should be reduced.

Rapozo and Souza were sent to prison by Watanabe for assaults that took place in the early morning hours of Aug. 11, 2003.

According to court records, the attacks started at about 3:20 a.m. at the north end of Lydgate, where three people were assaulted.

About 20 minutes later, the pair were at Rice Shopping Center in Lihu’e where they assaulted another person, according to court records.

Rapozo and Souza ended up in a secluded area off Kuamo’o Road in Wailua Homesteads about 20 minutes later, where LeGro was asleep in his sport-utility vehicle.

At Rapozo and Souza’s sentencing hearing, LeGro said that he was trapped by the men in the back of his SUV, and that the men broke his nose and some of his ribs.

Additionally, LeGro said that he still has nightmares and seizures because he was hit and kicked in the head.

At the sentencing hearing, Souza said that he was sorry for what he did. He also pointed out that he had a rough childhood.

Souza’s family members wrote letters of support, hoping that Watanabe would be lenient in her sentencing. One letter pointed out that Souza won the Hawaii High School Rodeo Association championship two years in a row.

Another letter pointed out that Souza’s uncle was murdered on the Big Island in 1994.

Rapozo, 25, was sentenced to 10 years behind bars, and Souza, 27, to five years behind bars.

Both men were also ordered to pay $9,800 in restitution to LeGro.

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