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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, September 6, 2001

Police Beat

Advertiser Staff

Accused killer gets 5 years in assault

A Wai'anae man facing life in federal prison without parole for the June 1998 murder of Army helicopter pilot John Latchum Jr. was sentenced yesterday to five years in a Hawai'i prison in an unrelated assault case.

Circuit Judge Gail Nakatani handed down the five-year term for Bryson Jose, 22, who was found guilty by a jury in June of second-degree assault for beating an elderly Wai'anae store owner on Sept. 10, 1997. The victim could not positively identify Jose at first, but was able to do so after the news reports about Jose's arrest in the Latchum case.

Jose, who faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole when he is sentenced in December for Latchum's murder, asked to be allowed to serve the assault sentence in Hawai'i before he begins serving his expected federal sentence on the Mainland. His request was denied.

Man arrested in labor abuses

An American Samoa man faces charges carrying up to 60 years in prison after his arrest on charges of conspiring to deprive garment factory workers in American Samoa of their civil rights.

In addition, Robert Ati Malala, 45, was charged with seven counts of involuntary servitude.

Daniel Dzwilewski, special agent in charge of the FBI's Honolulu office, said Malala was arrested without incident Friday night in American Samoa on the federal warrant issued earlier in the day.

On Friday, Kil Soo Lee, owner of the Daewoosa garment factory in American Samoa, and his managers Virginia Solia'i and Malala were charged in a 22-count superceding indictment that accuses the three of holding as many as 250 Vietnamese and Chinese in involuntary servitude at Lee's garment factory.

Solia'i surrendered to the FBI in Honolulu on Friday, while Lee already was in custody after having been detained earlier on related charges.

Of the estimated 250 workers who were allegedly held against their will, 181 have moved to various cities on the Mainland, having been admitted by U.S. immigration officials as "parolees in the public interest."

The remainder returned to Vietnam voluntarily after the factory was shut down.

Waikiki man, 42, dies in car crash

Police said they believe that speeding contributed to a one-car crash that killed a 42-year-old Waikiki man Tuesday night in Waikiki.

According to police, the crash occurred at 11:45 a.m. on Paki Avenue near Noela Street when the mauka-bound car failed to make a turn and struck a tree by Kapi'olani Park. The man died at the scene.

The man wore a seat belt, and the car's airbag deployed. It was O'ahu's 55th traffic fatality this year, compared to 47 last year.