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Man gets 25 years for Molokai shooting

Case stems from argument in 2015

WAILUKU — A 30-year-old Molokai man was sentenced Friday to 25 years in prison for shooting and injuring two men during an argument in 2015.

Second Circuit Judge Richard Bissen followed a plea agreement in sentencing Travis Torres, who with co-defendant, Chad Naehu, were initially charged with first-degree attempted murder in the shootings of Whitney Borden, who was shot in the neck, and Richard Dayton, who was shot in the buttocks. The men received treatment at Oahu hospitals after the incident.

Naehu’s case is pending.

Torres pleaded to lesser charges including first-degree assault instead of first-degree attempted murder. He apologized to the court, the victims and his family. He said he took “full responsibility” for his actions.

Deputy Prosecutor Carson Tani asked the court to follow the plea agreement, which called for Torres to serve concurrent prison terms for three charges for 20 years, and one consecutive term for one charge for five years.

The Hawaii Paroling Authority would decide on mandatory minimum time that Torres would spend in prison, which could be up to five years, attorneys said. Torres has already served four and half years in jail.

Defense attorney Keith Shigetomi said Torres was on co-defendant Naehu’s moped, which had a firearm that day. There was a challenge to fight, and one of the victims reached toward the floor of vehicle he was in, Shigetomi said. Torres thought the person had a firearm and fired a shot into the vehicle.

Shigetomi said that Torres “acted poorly” but was “legitimately afraid.”

In a preliminary hearing in October 2015, a witness testified seeing Naehu on an all-terrain vehicle and Torres on a moped on Oct. 14, 2015, along Puu Kapele Avenue in Hoolehua.

The witness heard one gun shot and then saw Torres standing outside a stopped vehicle. Torres was pointing into the passenger side of the car when another shot was heard, the witness said.

A police detective described the interview he had with one of the victims, Dayton, who was in the passenger side of the vehicle that Borden was driving. Dayton told police that Torres came up to the drivers side of the vehicle and argued with Borden.

The vehicle had stopped so Borden could smoke crystal methamphetamine.

Dayton told police that he then saw Torres come around the front of the vehicle toward the passenger side; Torres pulled out what appeared to be a sawed-off shotgun.

There was a loud pop. Dayton said Torres shot Borden in the neck.

Dayton told police he looked at Torres, who appeared to be reloading, so he tried to jump in the back seat. But then Dayton was shot in the buttocks, police said.

Torres pleaded no contest to two counts of first-degree assault, carrying a firearm in the commission of a separate felony and ownership of a prohibited firearm, according to court records.

* Melissa Tanji can be reached at mtanji@mauinews.com.

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