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