Victim's relatives vent anger at driver in hit-run
By Jim Dooley
Advertiser Staff Writer
Furious relatives of a man killed in a 2008 hit-and-run accident confronted the killer in court yesterday, then left en masse when he tried to apologize to them.
"You are a disgrace to society," Davilynn Kebo, sister of the victim, told Siaosi Feleunga, 32, during the court hearing. "We will haunt you as long as you are alive."
Motorcyclist Lindsey Kane was killed when Feleunga, a three-time drunk driver, made an abrupt right turn into the path of Kane on Farrington Highway near Aniani Place in Waipahu on Dec. 29, 2008.
Kane lost control of the motorcycle and crashed, police said. Feleunga, who is also known as "One Eye George," left the scene without rendering aid to Kane.
At the time of the incident, at least two bench warrants for Feleunga's arrest had been outstanding since October 2006, according to court records.
The warrants were issued after Feleunga failed to appear in court to prove that he had complied with sentences handed down in three earlier drunken-driving convictions.
The warrants were not served until January 2009, after Feleunga was arrested following Kane's death.
For that incident, Feleunga pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of the accident and second-degree negligent homicide. He also pleaded guilty to two other misdemeanors related to earlier traffic offenses.
"You guys got a great system," Kimo Kane, brother of the victim , told Circuit Judge Karen Ahn yesterday.
"Why in the hell you guys gotta make a deal with him or why you guys never pick him up for the 2006 warrants ..." Kane continued until Ahn stopped him and told him to use "civil language."
"No matter what the outcome gonna be in this court, you guys still get paid. I go home without a brother," Kane said.
"Ten years or less for killing my brother is not right," he said.
Kebo said Feleunga should serve a life term for his crimes.
"You took a life, you should serve a life," she said.
Kane's mother, Gladys Berinobis, said, "Lindsey was a good boy, a good son."
"It would have made a big difference if you had stopped and rendered some aid," she said. "How could you leave somebody lying on the road, leave him there to die? You could have called 911 and took off, but you didn't even do that."
When Feleunga turned from the defense table to address Kane's family, saying he wanted to apologize, they turned their backs on him and left the court.
Feleunga then spoke to Ahn.
"I just want to let the family know that I am very sorry. This was a tragic accident," Feleunga said.
He denied being under the influence of alcohol when he hit Kane, saying he was on his way to work.
"I remembered that I forgot something at home and I made that turn and that's when the accident happened," he said.
"I'd like the family to know that I'm not this punk that my record and the media makes me out to be," he said.
"I'm a caring person and this was just an accident that I wish never happened," Feleunga said.
Deputy Prosecutor Franklin Pacarro Jr. told Ahn he believed that Feleunga was drunk when the collision occurred and that's why he fled the scene.
"We would have had a BAC (blood alcohol content) if he had stuck around," Pacarro said.
Outside court, Rod Kane, brother of the victim, said the family left court "because we don't want to listen to that garbage. Because that's all it is — noise, garbage."
"Drug dealers, bank robbers, they get 20 years. My brother's life is 10 years," Kane said.
Kane and Kebo said the family is organizing a petition drive to increase the penalties for a crime like Feleunga's.
Pacarro said his office is looking into the issue, noting that there is now an "incentive" under the law for an impaired driver to leave the scene of a fatal accident.
The result of the Feleunga case was to get "a dangerous person off the street for 10 years," Pacarro said.