UNITED STATES NEWS

Hawaiian men imprisoned for hate crime beating agree to pay $25K

Apr 5, 2023, 7:00 PM

HONOLULU (AP) — Two Native Hawaiian men sentenced to prison for a hate crime in the brutal beating of a white man have agreed to pay more than $25,000 in restitution, according to court documents.

A U.S. judge last month sentenced Kaulana Alo-Kaonohi to six and a half years in prison and Levi Aki Jr. to four years and two months in prison.

In a case that laid bare multicultural Hawaii’s complicated and nuanced race relations, a jury in November found them guilty of a hate crime. Jurors found that they were motivated by Christopher Kunzelman’s race when they punched, kicked and used a shovel to beat him in 2014 when he tried to move into their remote fishing village on the island of Maui. His injuries included a concussion, two broken ribs and head trauma.

Attorneys for Aki and Alo-Kaonohi say it wasn’t Kunzelman’s race that provoked them, but his entitled and disrespectful attitude. Kunzelman and his wife had purchased a dilapidated oceanfront home in Kahakuloa village on Maui and planned to move there from Arizona. Kunzelman was trying to fix up the house when the attack happened.

A court document filed this week says both men and prosecutors have agreed on $25,413.91 in restitution, to be paid jointly by Aki and Alo-Kaonohi. The amount includes nearly $11,000 in medical costs, $846 for an iPhone and $78.02 “for the loss of the roofing shovel used.”

The men took Kunzelman’s phone, which recorded the attack, and threw it in the ocean, prosecutors said.

Kunzelman had requested $60,425.53.

His wife, Lori Kunzelman, said Wednesday they are not hopeful about receiving money from Aki and Alo-Kaonohi.

“We’ll never get anything back,” she said.

Salina Kanai, an attorney for Alo-Kaonohi, declined to comment. Aki’s attorney didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Aki and Alo-Kaonohi won’t be expected to begin paying monthly installments until they are released from prison.

Both men have started the process for an appeal, asking th

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Hawaiian men imprisoned for hate crime beating agree to pay $25K