Kona man gets 5 years for officer assault

  • Shannon Ke appears at his jury trial for attempted murder of a police officer in April. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

A judge Monday sentenced a 34-year-old Kona man found guilty in May of assaulting a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest.

Kona Circuit Court Judge Wendy DeWeese sentenced Shannon Ke to five years for first-degree assault of a law enforcement officer count and one year for resisting arrest. The sentences are to run concurrently, meaning they will be served at the same time. Credit for the 798 days Ke has been incarcerated will be deducted from the sentence.

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Court fees and the crime victims compensation fund fee were waived.

According to court records, Ke’s defense attorney James Greenberg argued for probation, noting his client has already been infected with COVID-19 and has served 778 days, which is more than two years behind bars. He also noted his client doesn’t have a violent record.

In a statement before sentencing, Ke said he was sorry for what transpired that day.

“I’m sorry what happened that day. He actually pushed me forward before pulling me back,’” said Ke, speaking via Zoom from Hawaii Community Correctional Center. “I’m sorry for his family of what happened. It was not my intentions of what happened that day.”

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Chase Murray had argued for a five-year term.

“Every witness that testified said that the defendant was the aggressor. Officer Hancock did not do anything but act in a professional manner and that the defendant struck the first blow and continued to attack officer Hancock once they were in the water,” Murray said at a previous hearing before sentencing was continued. “That’s the evidence before the court and those are the facts the jury convicted the defendant on. There’s no defenses, and certainly none found by the jury.”

Ke was found guilty by a jury on May 5 of resisting arrest and first-degree assault of a law enforcement officer following a weeklong trial.

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 Hancock in connection with the March 16, 2019 incident in Kailua Village.

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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.

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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