Not guilty plea entered in hate crime case

  • Shannon Ke enters a not guilty plea at his arraignment Wednesday in Circuit Court. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

KEALAKEKUA — A 31-year-old Kailua-Kona man pleaded not guilty to attempted murder of a police officer Wednesday in 3rd Circuit Court.

Shannon Kaleolani Ke appeared before 3rd Circuit Court Judge Robert D.S. Kim where he entered not guilty pleas to attempted first-degree murder with the enhancement of a hate crime, disorderly conduct, two counts of first-degree assault on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest in connection with the March 26 incident fronting Huggo’s On The Rocks in the Kailua Village area.

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Kim set jury trial for Aug. 20.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Kate Perazich argued to maintain bail, citing three felony convictions for first- and second-degree burglary, second-degree theft, as well as resisting arrest, four counts of contempt of court and six counts of failure to appear.

Kim declined to entertain a bail reduction on Wednesday because of the seriousness of the attempted murder charge filed against the suspect.

However, he recommended the defense file a motion to reduce bail because of the defendant’s indigent status, stating that the amount seemed high.

Ke remains in custody in lieu of $322,000.

According to Hawaii Police, Ke assaulted a Hawaii Police officer on the shoreline fronting Huggo’s On The Rocks in Kailua Village. Two officers had responded to the eatery around 5 p.m. on a report of a disorderly man.

While making contact with the man, identified as Ke, a confrontation ensued causing one of the responding officers and Ke to tumble into the water where the altercation continued.

The officers were eventually able to take Ke into custody without further incident.

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The officer allegedly assaulted by Ke was treated at Kona Community Hospital for contusions to his head and face as well as bruising to his legs. The hate crime enhancement was filed because Ke allegedly made disparaging comments about the officer’s believed race.

During the preliminary hearing that bound the case over to Circuit Court for further proceedings, that officer, Randall Hancock, testified that Ke called him a “F—king haole.” He also told the court he felt he was going to die while being held under the water by Ke.

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