Lihue man gets year for assault

LIHUE — A Lihue man who beat a man who was dating his ex-girlfriend was sentenced to a year in jail and probation Thursday in 5th Circuit Court.

Brayden Luke Durant, 27, was arrested for second-degree assault and three counts of criminal contempt of court on Dec. 26, 2013. He pleaded no contest to the second-degree assault charge on Nov. 13.

Chief Judge Randal Valenciano described the incident as a “brutal situation” in which Durant and two others tracked down the victim and chased him throughout Waimea town. When they confronted the victim, they beat him severely.

“This was a vicious act with bad intent,” Valenciano said, adding he didn’t think the defendant really understood the seriousness of his actions. “This is not something that the community encourages.”

Court-appointed defense attorney Mark Zenger said the trouble began as a mutual confrontation and described the victim as the aggressor who received the worst of it. He asked the court to sentence Durant to probation and six months in jail to be consistent with the sentence in Judge Kathleen Watanabe’s court in another case.

County deputy prosecuting attorney Teresa Tumbaga said the victim was the boyfriend of someone with whom Durant had a former relationship. The victim sustained severe injuries, including an orbital fracture.

Tumbaga asked the court to sentence the defendant to probation and six months jail. She said the lack of a substantial criminal record did not warrant a five-year open prison term that could have been implemented.

The court granted Tumbaga’s request for a stay away order from the victim. A restitution hearing to consider any request from the victim was scheduled for Feb. 19.

The court denied a motion for deferred acceptance of the no-contest plea. It would have allowed Durant to have the conviction expunged from his criminal record upon completion of probation.

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