Liquor store robber faces 25 years

LIHUE – An Anahola man faces a total of 25 years in prison for robbing the Kapaa Liquor and Wine Company last month.

Kawika Manaku, 29, changed his plea to guilty for first-degree robbery in front of 5th Circuit Judge Kathleen Watanabe on Tuesday.

On Feb. 2, Manaku walked into the liquor store and approached the 70-year-old male store owner with a metal rod in his hand. Manaku then pushed the victim to the ground and attacked him, punching him several times in the head and face. As Manaku began to gather his belongings, he noticed the victim attempting to stand up and again shoved him to the ground, thrusting the victim’s head into a large metal refrigerator.

Police arrested Manaku the following day. He remains in custody at Kauai Community Correctional Center.

The change of plea occurred pursuant to a plea agreement with the state of Hawaii in which the state agreed to dismiss other charges. Manaku now faces 20 years imprisonment for first-degree robbery, a Class A felony, at his June 17 sentencing. He will also be re-sentenced to an open five-year prison term as Manaku was on probation for a 2012 burglary at the time he robbed the liquor store. His probation will be revoked as part of the plea agreement.

Manaku is being represented by court-appointed counsel Mark Zenger. Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Lisa Arin is representing the state.

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