LIHUE —The Lihue man who stabbed another man seven times and left him to die in a parking lot last September changed his plea to no contest Thursday.
Francisco Keola Manuel, 38, was found guilty of manslaughter by Fifth Circuit Court Chief Judge Randal Valenciano after the state and the defense reached a plea deal.
Manuel will be sentenced June 23 and faces 20 years to life in prison. His bail was revoked.
Manuel was originally charged with second-degree murder in the killing of Gary Allen Allianic, 38, after a knife fight in the early morning hours of Sept. 26 in Lihue. Manuel also allegedly stabbed his pregnant girlfriend, Jasmine Duque, and racked up an assault in the second-degree charge.
The second-degree murder charge was amended to manslaughter per the plea agreement, but the assault charge remained. Assault in the second degree is a class C felony and punishable by up to five years in jail.
According to the plea agreement, the state is deferring to the court whether Manuel’s terms are concurrent or consecutive.
“(Manuel) shouldn’t take the deal, but the sentencing is up to the judge,” said Teresa Belmes-Allianic, Allianic’s mother. “The judge should give him the max.”
Belmes-Allianic said her son had been in trouble and was aware of the talk circulating regarding Allianic’s troubled past when he was charged with murdering Calvin Carveiro in 1994 with co-defendant Michael Norman Montapert.
“Gary was there with friends,” Belmes-Allianic said. “It was self-defense. He’s been in no trouble since. No one is perfect in this world.”
At the time, Allianic was 17 years old. In the end, Allianic pleaded guilty to hindering prosecution in the second degree in 1996 and was sentenced to seven months in jail.
But last September, things were different, she said.
“If my son went over there to fight, he would have been ready,” she said, referring to the fight between Allianic and Manuel.
Prosecuting Attorney Justin Kollar said he would be able to comment further after the sentencing and believes the plea agreement is fair for both parties.