Kona man acquitted of attempted murder of police officer

  • Shannon Ke stands as the verdict is read in his trial for attempted murder of a police officer. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

A verdict was reached Wednesday in the trial against a Kailua-Kona man accused of attempted murder of a police officer in 2019.

The jury found Shannon Kaleolani Ke guilty of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, petty misdemeanors, third-degree assault, which is a misdemeanor and first-degree assault of a law enforcement officer, a class C felony with a maximum term of five years incarceration.

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Ke had faced first-degree attempted murder with the enhancement of a hate crime, disorderly conduct, first-degree assault, two counts of first-degree assault on Hawaii Police Department Officer Randall Hancock and resisting arrest in connection with the March, 2019 incident on the shoreline fronting Huggo’s Restaurant.

During the trial, Hancock testified he has not worked since the incident, having been placed on disability because of nerve problems in his arms and hands, consciousness and memory issues, seizures and problems with mobility. He said he never faced any of the conditions prior to the March 26, 2019, incident.

A hearing will be held Thursday on the prosecution’s motion to pursue an enhanced sentence extending Ke’s prison term. The enhanced crime hearing for a hate crime and persistent offender status, seeks to double time served in the felony conviction from five to 10 years.

According to court records, in 2018, Ke pleaded no contest to resisting arrest, with the additional charges of first-degree criminal property damage, second-degree reckless endangering and second degree assault on a law enforcement officer dismissed. In 2009, Ke pleaded guilty to first-degree burglary and second-degree theft with a charge of unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle dismissed. Also in 2009, Ke pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary with the charge of second-degree theft dismissed.

After the Wednesday’s verdict was read, Deputy Public Defender James Greenberg said the jury did a fine service.

“They did a good job,” he said.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Chase Murray also commented on the verdict.

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“I respect the jury’s decision even though I don’t agree with it,” he said.

If Ke had been convicted of first-degree attempted murder, he would have faced life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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