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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 5:24 p.m., Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Jury opts for second degree assault in road rage case

Advertiser Staff

A man who critically injured a pedestrian during an altercation on Kapi'olani Boulevard last year was found guilty today of second-degree assault.

Maurice Nakama had been charged with second-degree attempted murder because state prosecutors said the extent of his victim's injuries warranted the charge.

With the assault conviction, Nakama faces five years in prison. An attempted murder conviction carries a mandatory life sentence with the possibility of parole.

"We can accept this determination as a fair one," said defense attorney Ed Hirata. "This is how the system is supposed to work. The jury did a conscientious job."

Prosecutor Marvin Rampey did not speak to the press after the verdict was read.

The beating happened about 10:35 p.m. on Oct. 22, when Nakama was a passenger in a silver 2002 Volkswagen Jetta that overshot a red light and stopped in the Kapi'olani crosswalk as the couple was trying to cross the street.