Preliminary hearing set in ‘End of the World’ murder

  • Ioane Asagra is wheeled out of Kona District Court after making his initial appearance on Friday. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

A 27 year-old Captain Cook man made his initial appearance Friday in Kona District Court on charges of second-degree murder and first-degree arson in connection with the May 25 shooting death of a 46-year-old Kailua-Kona man.

The charges stem from the shooting death of Joey Richmond at the end of Keauhou-Kainaliu Beach Road, locally known as “End of the World.”

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Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Kate Perazich argued for maintaining bail at $550,000, noting Asagra has two pending charges in two separate felony cases, with a motion to revoke probation on a 2017 felony conviction also pending. She also stated she would be submitting a motion to deny bail.

The state is also pursuing extended sentencing because Asagra allegedly used a firearm in the commission of the felony. Court records also indicate he is subject to extended terms of imprisonment necessary “for the protection of the public.”

The document also states Asagra is a persistent offender, with a conviction history dating to 2011.

Asagra’s attorney, William Reece argued for supervised release or reduced bail to $100,000, noting Asagra’s ties to the community and his ability to be under the supervision of his aunt, a graduate of the William S. Richardson School of Law. He said his client, who appeared in court in a wheelchair with both legs bandaged, was not a flight risk due to his burn injuries and needed help changing his bandages.

“To put him in the hotbed of coronavirus at HCCC in his condition would be dangerous,” said Reece. “He is already on a half-million-dollar bond and he has many supporters who are ready to put their houses up. It would save the taxpayers a lot of money if he was able to stay with family.”

Reece said Asagra “adamantly denies the charges” of being the principal person involved in the crime and was just at the wrong place at the wrong time.

After hearing arguments, Judge Robert Crudele maintained bail at $550,000 and set a preliminary hearing date for Monday. He also advised Reece to file a motion for reduced bail if Asagra was not ambulatory.

Asagra was extradited Wednesday afternoon to Kailua-Kona from Honolulu, where he had been recovering from burns allegedly suffered when he set Richmond’s car on fire after the shooting.

Asagra was taken into the custody of the Hawaii Police Department upon his arrival at Kona International Airport at Keahole and transported to the Kona Police Station. He was charged with the two offenses on Thursday.

Shortly before 9:30 p.m. May 25, police responded to a report of an unresponsive man lying face-down on the ground at Keauhou-Kainaliu Beach Road. Police told West Hawaii Today that a family fishing at the site had come upon the scene and reported it to police.

Witnesses reportedly saw a silver- or gray-colored BMW leaving the area at a high rate of speed and head south on the Mamalahoa Bypass at the time of the reported shooting.

Later, police responded to a report of a vehicle on fire off Highway 160. There, they found a silver BMW on fire.

An autopsy determined Richmond died of multiple gunshot wounds, police said. The manner of death was listed as homicide.

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At the time of the shooting, Asagra was free on $500,000 bail in connection with a December home invasion.

Anyone with information regarding the incident should contact Detective Kimmerlyn Makuakane-Jarrell at (808) 326-4646, ext. 262, via email at Kimmerlyn.Makuakane-Jarrell@hawaiicounty.gov, or the department’s nonemergency line at (808) 935-3311.

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