A Puna woman’s criminal record could be cleared of a charge stemming from aiding Justin Waiki following the 2018 fatal shooting of a Hawaii Police Department officer if she stays out of further trouble.
Taumi Carr, the last of the seven defendants accused of aiding Waiki following the fatal shooting of Officer Bronson Kaliloa in July 2018, was sentenced March 5 after entering a plea agreement in which she pleaded guilty to a single count of first-degree hindering prosecution, a Class C felony, in exchange for dropping a conspiracy to commit hindering charge being dropped.
Kona Circuit Court Judge Robert D.S. Kim sentenced Carr to four years probation with one year in jail, with credit for 59 days served and all remaining time suspended. Kim also granted a deferred acceptance of her guilty plea, which means if she complies with the conditions of her sentence, after four years she can have the conviction expunged from her criminal record.
During sentencing, Kim noted that after presiding over all seven cases, including a jury trial, in connection with aiding Waiki, he had full knowledge of the case. He stated Carr’s participation was relatively small compared to the others and the facts indicated it was a different defendant, Kiel Brende, who brought Waiki to her home and that she had been previously threatened to be killed by Waiki. Further, Carr attempted to get Waiki to turn himself in and when asked to talk to police, she voluntarily met with detectives, made a full statement without benefit of a lawyer and voluntarily provided her password to unlock her cellphone. She also did not accompany Waiki when he attempted to evade police.
“The way this terrible tragic event unfolded, the defendant’s participation was not significant,” Kim said, according to court minutes.
The six other people charged in connection with aiding Waiki — Jamie Jason, Malia Lajala, Jorge Pagan-Torres, Krystle Ferreira, Brende and Mokihana Veincent — have each been sentenced for their roles in the case.
Jason was one of four people, including Lajala and Pagan-Torres, inside a Toyota 4-Runner along with Waiki when police stopped the SUV at a checkpoint on South Point Road on July 20, 2018, three days after police said Waiki shot and killed Kaliloa on the side of Highway 11 in Mountain View.
During a search of the vehicle, Jason was found in the vehicle’s cargo hold with Waiki. The 33-year-old man was killed in an exchange of bullets with officers, during which a Special Response Team officer suffered nonfatal gunshot wounds. Jason also suffered a gunshot wound to her thigh.
In a deal with prosecutors, Jason entered guilty pleas to first-degree hindering prosecution, second-degree assault of a law enforcement officer and accomplice to ownership or possession of firearm when prohibited in connection with the incident. She was sentenced in June to six years incarceration.
In fall 2019, a jury found Lajala guilty of first-degree hindering prosecution and a lesser offense of second-degree attempted assault of a law enforcement officer. She was sentenced in January to six years incarceration, with credit for time served.
Ferreira and Pagan-Torres were found guilty of the lesser offense of second-degree reckless endangering. Each was sentenced to one year incarceration, with credit for time served.
Brende and Veincent pleaded out to first-degree hindering prosecution and were sentenced to five years behind bars.
Attempts to reach Kaua Jackson, the lead prosecutor on the case, and Hawaii Police Department Chief Paul Ferreira for comment on the closure of the case were unsuccessful as of press-time Thursday.