Stabbing suspect pleads guilty

After months of negotiations with prosecutors, Joshua Sesco formally pleaded no contest to first-degree assault in connection with a May stabbing at Kapa‘a’s Fujii beach yesterday in 5th Circuit Court.

Sesco, 29, of Kapa‘a, will be sentenced by Chief Judge Randal Valenciano on Nov. 20. Assault in the first degree is a Class B felony and carries a maximum prison term of 10 years. Deputy prosecuting attorney Mauna Kea Trask and defense attorney Daniel Hempey will have the opportunity to argue the facts of the case at the sentencing hearing.

Sesco was arrested on May 16 and originally charged with the assault count and second-degree attempted murder, which was dismissed by prosecutors as part of the plea agreement.

In a June interview with The Garden Island, Curtis Bupp said he and Sesco had previously been friends and that the stabbing, which occurred at a beach celebration of Bupp’s son’s 21st birthday, was unexpected.

“He already had the knife when he got out of the car. I saw nothing and was expecting nothing,” Bupp said. “The next thing I know, he stabbed me.”

Bupp described the weapon as a “butcher knife” and displayed his hands seemingly at shoulder-width apart to approximate its length.

“The knife originally hit me in the belly, and if it had gone in right there, I’d be dead,” Bupp said. “The knife started to cut and go in, but it hit my hip bone. It jumped over my hip bone and the whole blade went in, almost to my back. It came within one inch of coming out the other side of me.”

Due to the size, shape and location of the wound, doctors had difficulty stopping the bleeding and, Bupp said, administered five units of blood upon his admission to the emergency room. He spent seven days in the hospital.

Bupp said in June that he was hoping that “real justice” is served but that he is “not looking for life without parole” for Sesco.

“He should get at least 10 years (in prison) I think. That would be long enough to help him change his mind,” he said.

A phone message left for Bupp yesterday was not returned as of press time.

Sesco remains in police custody with bail set at $500,000.

• Michael Levine, staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 252) or via e-mail at mlevine@kauaipubco.com

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