Man given probation in assault on another

WAILUKU – After apologizing to the victim’s mother, a Wailuku man was placed on four years’ probation Thursday for an assault that injured another man last year at Kepaniwai Park.

Kirk Keahi Jr., 23, was given credit for 10 days he had previously spent in jail.

Second Circuit Judge Peter Cahill followed a plea agreement in sentencing Keahi, who had pleaded no contest to second-degree assault as a jury trial was about to begin.

“I think we could have prevailed at trial,” said defense attorney Sam MacRoberts. “For Kirk to plead nonetheless, I think shows a lot. He realizes probation may be good for him.”

MacRoberts said he would try to help Keahi find a job.

Keahi was charged with assaulting a 21-year-old man at about 4 p.m. March 10, 2012, at the Iao Valley park. Police reported the victim was trying to break up a fight between two men when Keahi kicked the victim in the right side of his face. The man fell to the ground and lost consciousness, suffering a nasal bridge fracture, police reported.

In court Thursday, the victim’s mother said she forgave Keahi, even after sitting with her son in the hospital for two days after he was assaulted.

Turning toward the mother, Keahi said, “I apologize for what I did.”

“That’s more important than anything you could say to me,” Cahill told Keahi.

The judge said he was concerned about Keahi’s drug use, which may have been a reason Keahi had gone to the park that day.

As part of his probation, Keahi was ordered not to consume alcohol or illegal drugs. He also was ordered to undergo a mental health assessment.