The fate of the man accused of killing two Anahola residents and disabling their son will be determined in a sentencing hearing this week by Circuit Judge Kathleen Watanabe.
Helene and Louis Nuesca, who had been married for 40 years, lost their lives when Jameel Ramirez, of Hanama‘ulu, hit their car head-on Oct. 31, 2005, on Kuhio Highway, near Wilcox Memorial Hospital. Helene died on impact and Louis died 34 days later, Danette, their daughter, said.
Danette’s brother Robert, an entertainer and volunteer coach, was in the car with his parents. As a result, he suffered severe injuries and is now a paraplegic with brain damage.
He was in a comatose state until last year, when his health status was upgraded to semi-conscious. A passenger in Ramirez’s car, Charlie Cabangbang, also was injured.
Though Robert cannot respond to stimuli, Danette said, the reason he has come so far is due in part to the outpouring of help from the community and members of his church, the Aloha Church-Assembly Of God.
But Danette and her sister, Eleanor, need help just one more time, she said.
“A lot of people knew my parents and we want everyone to come to the hearing so we can get some support,” she said. “It has just been really hard. We just need help to close this whole thing down.”
According to court documents, Ramirez was driving recklessly before the car he was driving crossed the center line and hit the Nuescas’ vehicle.
In a plea deal, the original counts against Ramirez — two Class A felony counts of manslaughter and two Class B counts of second-degree assault — were reduced to two Class B felonies and one Class C felony. With the lessening of the charges came a decrease in his bail from $100,000 to $25,000.
Ramirez faces one to 10 years in prison at 8:30 a.m. Thursday morning in Circuit Court.