Man is sentenced in August beating

WAILUKU – A Pukalani man was released April 25 after spending nearly three months in jail for an unprovoked assault on a man as he sat in his car on a dark Haiku road.

The victim, who had driven Johnny Takemoto’s girlfriend home from Kihei, found himself in a “really scary situation” when Takemoto and another man “walked up to him and began pounding him,” said Deputy Prosecutor Kim Whitworth.

She said Takemoto, 29, admitted “he let his anger get the better of him” when he struck the driver in the incident at about 3 a.m. Aug. 12 on Kahope Place.

“This is a crime of stupidity, a crime of jealousy, a crime that was motivated by his inability to control his own emotions,” Whitworth said.

In court, Takemoto said he was sorry.

He had pleaded no contest to first-degree unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle, with the prosecution dismissing a charge of third-degree assault.

His attorney, Matthew Nardi, said Takemoto had a job waiting for him.

Following a plea agreement, 2nd Circuit Judge Joseph Cardoza placed Takemoto on five years’ probation and ordered him to participate in anger management classes.

Takemoto also was ordered to write a letter apologizing to the victim, who has moved to California.

Co-defendant Erino Dayton Bascar, 24, of Haiku is awaiting trial.

In another sentencing, a 31-year-old Kula woman was ordered to perform 100 hours of community service and pay $6,831 in restitution for her role in the burglary of a Waiehu residence.

Sarah Caires was placed on five years’ probation and given credit for about five months she had spent in jail. She was ordered to write a letter apologizing to the victims.

Caires was the getaway driver, transporting co-defendants Lewellyn Foster Jr. and Kapeka Laupenia-Lau to the house that was burglarized Nov. 21, 2011, said Deputy Prosecutor Jeffery Temas. He said Foster and Laupenia-Lau went into the house through the garage and left through the front door, carrying trash bags containing thousands of dollars in valuables.

Caires was identified as a suspect when a victim trying to learn who committed the burglary called Caires and she admitted having a video camera and some other property stolen in the burglary, Temas said.

He said Caires had fled Maui after being arraigned in the case and had to be extradited back to the state.

She had pleaded no contest to first-degree burglary and second-degree theft.

Foster was sentenced last year to a five-year prison term after pleading no contest to a reduced charge of second-degree burglary and two counts of second-degree theft. Laupenia-Lau was sentenced last year to a three-month jail term as part of five years’ probation. Both were ordered to share in paying restitution.