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Father trying to help was injured by son

1 year in jail ordered for breaking collarbone

WAILUKU — A one-year jail term was ordered for a man who broke his 74-year-old father’s collarbone when an argument turned violent in their Kahului home.

Shawn Yasuda, 40, also was placed on four years’ probation when he was sentenced Thursday.

He had pleaded no contest to second-degree assault and abuse of his father.

Yasuda and his father had been estranged and hadn’t seen each other for more than 10 years when the father paid for his son to come to Maui from Oahu in January, said Deputy Prosecutor Annalisa Bernard Lee.

“He knew his son was kind of down and out,” Bernard Lee said.

She said his father tried to help Yasuda get a job and get back on his feet.

“He basically tried to take care of his son,” Bernard Lee said. “The defendant was allegedly using drugs and spending his father’s money, so they would get into arguments.”

On April 11, after they argued about finances, Yasuda slapped his father twice on the right side of his head, then grabbed him with both hands and began shaking him, Bernard Lee said.

She said the landlord overheard the commotion, went to check on what was happening and took the father to the hospital, where an X-ray showed he suffered a broken collarbone from the assault.

When Bernard Lee talked to Yasuda’s father, “he explained how much he really wanted to help his son,” she said. “He feels guilty because of the loss of years in their relationship. He really wanted, in his old age, to finally make things right and help his son. Unfortunately, things were becoming violent.”

Yasuda’s father didn’t want to pursue criminal charges against his son, Bernard Lee said. She said the hospital called police under mandatory reporting laws.

While Yasuda could have faced a mandatory prison sentence based on his father’s age, a plea agreement called for probation because his father didn’t want to see Yasuda in prison, Bernard Lee said.

She said the one-year jail term would provide “a time out, so hopefully Shawn can really think about his actions.”

While Yasuda is over 6 feet tall and weighs about 250 pounds, his father is 5-foot-6 and weighs 120 pounds, Bernard Lee said.

“You do not become physical like this with your 74-year-old father who is frail,” she said.

Yasuda didn’t mean to break his father’s collarbone, said Deputy Public Defender Zach Raidmae. He said Yasuda was “humbled” after already spending more than five months in jail.

Yasuda said he had “developed my relationship with Jesus” while in jail.

“I am sorry for what I have done,” he said.

Second Circuit Judge Peter Cahill said Yasuda had been “essentially abusing his dad financially” by not working and taking his father’s money.

“That’s a form of elder abuse that’s just as bad, almost, as the physical,” Cahill said. “So the one year is justified.”

While Yasuda’s father didn’t want to have the case prosecuted, he has a one-year order for protection against his son, Cahill noted.

Yasuda was ordered not to consume alcohol or illegal drugs and to complete anger management treatment.

In another sentencing Thursday, a 51-year-old Wailuku man was fined $800 for his role in an illegal sports betting operation.

Alfred Ayers was given a chance to keep a felony conviction off his records if he follows court requirements for four years.

Ayers placed bets on collegiate and pro football games during the 2015 to 2016 season, Bernard Lee said.

He has no other criminal convictions, said his attorney, Elizabeth Cuccia.

“He participated in this gambling ring, and he’s learned a valuable lesson,” she said.

Ayers had pleaded no contest to first-degree promotion of gambling, with other charges dismissed in exchange for his plea.

Judge Cahill said he imposed the fine after reviewing police reports about the amounts defendants were betting.

Twenty-three people were charged with allegedly participating in the betting operation from Oct. 3 to Dec. 21, 2015. Most of the defendants have been sentenced, while cases are pending against several others.

* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at lfujimoto@mauinews.com.

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