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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 11:49 a.m., Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Man gets 20 years in drowning case


A 23-year-old man was sentenced to a maximum 20-year prison term this morning for the drowning of a man whose body was found in Honolulu Harbor in April 2004.

Faitele Faitele Jr., who was homeless, was originally charged with murdering Ruben Kimura, 25, also homeless, but Faitele was found guilty of the lesser offense of manslaughter.

Kimura suffered blows to his head, which fractured his skull, but drowning was the cause of death, authorities said.

Faitele told police he dumped him into Nu'uanu Stream because he thought Kimura was responsible for Faitele getting suspended from a shelter for smoking marijuana.

Faitele also admitted to drinking three 40-ounce beers, police said.

Circuit Judge Richard Perkins imposed the 20-year term. The Hawai'i Paroling Authority will later decide how much time Faitele must serve before he is eligible for release on parole.

City Deputy Prosecutor Darrell Wong said he thought the sentence was "appropriate" because Faitele has not gotten treatment for his substance abuse problems related to marijuana, crystal methamphetamine and alcohol.

Faitele would be released untreated if he received probation, because he has already been in jail for more than two years in the case, Wong said.