Accused monk seal attacker faces 5 years in prison

LIHUE — A man accused of beating up a monk seal will not be sentenced until July.

Shylo Akuna appeared before Judge Kathleen Watanabe on one count of taking a monk seal prohibited Wednesday. He was originally scheduled for sentencing, but his attorney, Mark Zenger, filed a motion to defer acceptance of his no contest plea.

That means he would have no criminal record.

But the hearing was rescheduled because Akuna has since been charged on burglary counts, Zenger said.

On April 26, 2016, Akuna was seen throwing sand and screaming at a seal, RK30, at Salt Pond Beach Park. He also tried to punch it.

Akuna, who lives in Eleele, then chased the seal into the water, police say.

The 20-year-old was arrested two days later.

Akuna is facing fives years in prison.

He will be back in court on July 12.

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