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Life sentence for vicious beating

September 14, 2017 - 12:05am

KEALAKEKUA — Anthony Beaudet-Close, who nearly beat a man to death behind a downtown gas station last October, was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday morning.

Last month, 12 jurors found Beaudet-Close guilty of attempted murder in the second degree.

In a statement to Judge Melvin Fujino’s courtroom, Beaudet-Close said Wednesday he couldn’t believe the incident occurred and that he ran into the individual.

“I’m terribly sorry,” he said. “I wish none of us had gotten hurt.”

The mandatory sentence, which was handed down, was life in prison with the possibility of parole. The defense now has 30 days to file an appeal. Beaudet-Close’s attorney, Michael Schlueter, said the minimum prison sentence will be determined by the Hawaii Paroling Authority.

Beaudet-Close was ordered to pay about $3,041 in restitution to the Department of Human Services. He was also ordered to pay $505 in fees to the Crime Victims Compensation Fund.

Beaudet-Close, of Kailua-Kona, attacked the victim on Oct. 28, 2016, near the 75-900 block of Henry Street in Kailua-Kona, behind the Aloha Gas Station. Officers discovered an unconscious man with injuries to the head.

The victim was transported to Kona Community Hospital by ambulance and later medevac’d to a hospital on Oahu.

Walter Ah Mow, a retired detective with Hawaii Police Department’s Area II Criminal Investigations Section, said doctors at The Queen’s Medical Center on Oahu said the victim suffered a “traumatic brain injury, a subdural hematoma causing coma and multiple facial fractures.”

A handful of Beaudet-Close’s family members were in the courtroom for the sentencing. After the Kailua-Kona man was led out of court, his grandmother, Gay Spatz, spoke out against the prosecutor.

“Vicious!” Spatz exclaimed. “God’s gonna judge you.”

Outside the courtroom, Spatz said the sentencing was a gross injustice.

“He’s a very sweet boy and got into a bad situation,” she said.

Deputy Prosecutor Kimberly Taniyama said it was a challenging case. The prosecution had a number of witnesses in the area at the time of the assault.

“They were very brave to step forward,” Taniyama said. “Without them the case would’ve been very different.”

The victim’s family wasn’t in the courtroom on Wednesday, however Taniyama said they did provide input into Beaudet-Close’s sentencing.

Taniyama also credited the success of the case to the work of police investigators.

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