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Kihei man gets jail for abusing pregnant girlfriend

WAILUKU — A Kihei man is serving a one-year jail term for abusing his girlfriend by grabbing her by the neck and impeding her breathing while she was pregnant last year.

Krayston Ako Kealoha, 31, also was placed on five years’ probation when he was sentenced Sept. 1.

“He has a history of violence,” Deputy Prosecutor Anthony Herndon said in arguing for the jail term. “The facts were concerning to the state.”

He said Ako Kealoha was arguing with his girlfriend, who was pregnant, on Dec. 27 when he became angry and grabbed her by the neck. She reported that he held her neck in a C-clamp, impeding her breathing for 15 to 20 seconds, Herndon said.

He said the woman’s 13- and 10-year-old nieces were in the house at the time.

Ako Kealoha was in a vehicle and getting ready to leave when he punched his girlfriend in the stomach, slammed her head into the steering wheel and dragged her out through the driver’s door, Herndon said.

He said Ako Kealoha’s criminal history includes 18 convictions for crimes including four for abuse and two for third-degree assault, as well as DUI, driving without a license, fleeing the scene of an accident, failure to appear and contempt of court. His only felony conviction was for first-degree terroristic threatening last year.

In that case, Ako Kealoha was among five people arrested after a confrontation with a man and woman trying to recover her son’s stolen car July 22, 2019, on a dirt road at Kaa Point in Kahului.

The couple confronted a man who was in the stolen 1996 Honda Civic, and he was seen making a phone call before others pulled up in two vehicles, according to police. Two men in the group had guns that they pointed toward the woman’s boyfriend, witnesses said. The suspects fled, leaving the stolen vehicle behind, and were later located by police.

Police said Ako Kealoha had a black airsoft pistol that was brandished.

In his latest case, Ako Kealoha pleaded guilty to felony abuse.

Deputy Public Defender Tyler Stevenson asked for Ako Kealoha to be released after spending about eight months in jail.

His behavior wasn’t justified, Stevenson said. “It is truly hurting the ones that he loves the most,” he said.

He said Ako Kealoha has a child he hadn’t met and his girlfriend wrote a letter supporting him. “He is a big asset to their family,” Stevenson said.

In imposing the one-year jail term, 2nd Circuit Judge Richard Bissen noted that Ako Kealoha was arrested in the abuse case about three months after he was sentenced and placed on felony probation in the threatening case.

Ako Kealoha was ordered not to consume alcohol or illegal drugs and to complete domestic violence intervention classes.

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

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