Man pleads guilty in Kilauea standoff

LIHUE — A Kilauea man who shot a friend in the arm and had a day-long standoff with police pleaded guilty to assault and weapons charges Wednesday in 5th Circuit Court.

Kaleo Lovell Martin, 33, pleaded guilty to an amended charge of second-degree assault, a Class C felony that was amended from the original attempted second-degree murder charge. He also pleaded guilty to another Class A felony charge of carrying or use of a firearm in the commission of a separate felony and to three other Class B felony charges of ownership or possession prohibited of any firearm or ammunition by a person convicted of certain crimes. 

The charges were for possession of a pistol, a .22-caliber rifle and ammunition.

Martin accepted the state’s offer of a 20-year sentence for the charges with a mandatory minimum of six years and eight months before eligibility for parole. Sentencing is scheduled for May 13.

Judge Kathleen Watanabe told Martin the court agreed to bind itself to the plea agreement. Without it, the court could exercise its option to sentence him to life in prison with the possibility of parole for the A felony charge, or to extended terms for multiple felonies and as a repeat felony offender.

Martin was arrested March 16, 2014 and charged with shooting a friend in the arm near his home on Kilauea Road. He fled after the altercation and later surrendered to police.

Court-appointed defense attorney Mark Zenger said in court the defendant pleaded to the lesser charge because he had no intention of harming his friend. Martin was distraught over the end of a relationship and was contemplating suicide when his friend, William Herron, 36, attempted to prevent that from happening and was shot in the arm.

The first action of the defense was to get a mental fitness for trial examination prior to a scheduled preliminary hearing in Kauai District Court, according to Zenger. Before that examination was completed, the state brought the case to 5th Circuit through the grand jury process.

County First Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Kevin Takata said the state’s view of the incident was that Herron was shot in the arm after a lengthy argument with Martin. He said Herron was uncooperative with the state and had to be impeached during grand jury proceedings that led to the indictment on Aug. 14, 2014.

Takata noted Martin’s prior criminal history includes a five-year prison term for terroristic threatening charges on April 21, 2009. He was in possession of a firearm and a machete when he fled the scene in a police car following a five-hour standoff in Kilauea on Sept. 22, 2008.

Martin’s other prior convictions include felony drug and misdemeanor assault, property damage and terroristic threat charges in Kauai District Court. He had not served more than 60 days until the felony offenses.

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