2010 assault gets Yasay 5 years

LIHU‘E — Rudy Rudolpho Yasay, 56, was sentenced to five years prison Wednesday in 5th Circuit Court.

The sentencing follows a March trial, in which a jury found Yasay guilty in two domestic violence incidents and resisting arrest in 2010.

Judge Kathleen N.A. Watanabe sentenced him to five years for attempted second-degree assault, and merged a second charge of family or household member abuse. He was sentenced concurrently to one year for misdemeanor resisting arrest, and 30 days for petty misdemeanor harassment.

County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Lisa Arin represented the state. She did not recommend probation based on Yasay’s criminal history.

Watanabe said that Yasay had the benefit of probation in the past and did not succeed. She said it was troubling that Yasay continued with acts of violence against the person who expressed no wish for vengeful sentencing in a letter to the court.

The trial focused on two incidents in the summer of 2010.

Yasay maintained that the couple got in a tussle resulting from his trying to prevent the victim from leaving the home where they were co-habitating. He said the woman fell on painting materials that caused the injuries.

The victim alleged at trial that Yasay struck her with a hedge trimmer. An emergency room physician testified to a deep cut on her forehead that required 10 sutures.

The harassment verdict stemmed from a separate incident on July 9, 2010.

They jury did not reach a verdict on assault and abuse charges from the same incident.

Defense attorney Craig De Costa wanted to ensure there was an accurate account of credit for time served. He said Yasay has been in custody for 646 days since his arrest on Aug. 21, 2010.

De Costa said he would be appealing the felony second-degree assault charge. He objected to allowing the included offense to go to the jury which is at the discretion of the judge in Hawai‘i.

He advised the court of the appeal in order to hold the charge from the sentencing until the matter is resolved. After a bench conference, Watanabe merged the charges, saying that all charges need to be judged at sentencing.

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