HONOLULU — Prosecutors in Hawaii have declined to bring charges against a sheriff’s deputy and a correctional center guard in separate fatal shootings, officials said.
Officials from two agencies chose not to prosecute the deputy and jail guard who each killed unarmed men, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Sunday.
The Hawaii Department of the Attorney General found insufficient evidence to prosecute a deputy who killed 28-year-old Delmar Espejo in February during a struggle at the Capitol rotunda, officials said.
Espejo was homeless and refused to dispose of a beer he was drinking before starting an “extreme struggle” with the deputy, officials said. Espejo held the officer in a headlock, officials said.
The deputy attorney general told Espejo’s family that another homeless man saw the deputy and Espejo rolling on the ground before the officer fired his gun into Espejo’s back, said family attorney Myles Breiner.
“That’s outrageous and a distortion of the facts,” said Breiner, who noted Espejo was disabled from childhood polio.
Maui Deputy Prosecutor Mike Kagami chose not to prosecute the Oahu Community Correctional Center guard who chased 47-year-old Maurice Arrisgado Jr. and shot him in the back in March. Arrisgado was an inmate in the process of escaping from the jail, officials said.
The case was transferred to Maui because Arrisgado’s father was a deputy prosecutor with the Honolulu Prosecutor’s Office, officials said.
Arrisgado family attorney Eric Seitz said they plan to sue.
“This guy didn’t have to die,” Seitz said, adding that the case “looks very sloppy and very poorly handled.”
The Department of Public Safety has ongoing internal investigations into both deaths.
Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.com