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Man sentenced for killing dairy goat

June 25, 2013
The Associated Press

LIHUE (AP) - A Kapaa man was ordered Wednesday to pay $8,347.21 in restitution for shooting and killing a pregnant dairy goat on a Kauai farm.

Fifth Circuit Judge Kathleen Watanabe also sentenced Russell Kekoa Hoomanawanui, 31, to two months in jail for killing the goat belonging to Kunana Dairy in Kilauea on April 27, 2011.

"The fact remains that it was a senseless and unfortunate act," Watanabe said.

Watanabe said that she did "not buy for one minute" the claims of Hoomanawanui and co-defendant Ryan Winchell, 29, of Las Vegas, that they were hunting and did not know they had trespassed on the dairy farm.

On March 18, Hoomana-wanui pleaded no contest to felony charges of livestock theft and criminal property damage plus misdemeanor animal cruelty. Under a plea agreement, he would have received a 30-day sentence. But an arrest in May on assault and disorderly conduct charges led prosecutors to seek a revision.

Rebecca Vogt, county deputy prosecuting attorney, said that Hoomanawanui did not comply with plea agreement terms and did not meet with his probation officer. After the new charges, the state requested a six-month jail sentence, she said.

Hoomanawanui could have asked to withdraw his no-contest plea, said state Deputy Public Defender Stephanie Sato, when the state changed terms of the deal. Instead, she said, Hoomanawanui chose to accept responsibility for his actions.

At previous hearings, Louisa Wooten, co-owner of Kunana Dairy, testified that goats such as the one killed are valued at up to $1,500 in their prime, The Garden Island reported. The goat, named Kaitlyn, was impregnated by artificial insemination that required hydrogen freezers, Wooten said, and was carrying two unborn kids.

Goats produce up to 300 gallons of milk a year, Wooten said, and the farm earns about $7,000 annually per goat. Kunana Dairy had offered an $11,000 reward in the case.

Winchell was sentenced April 17. He was given the time he had already served, 56 days, and ordered to pay more than $8,000 in restitution. He had left Hawaii before sentencing and was extradited.

Despite turning himself in and acknowledging his role, Hoomanawanui's actions at the time make no sense, Watanabe said. To accept responsibility, she said, he needed to understand the pain and loss inflicted on the Wooten family.

Besides the jail term, she sentenced him to five years of probation.



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