Pot grower gets 20 years for killing
A Big Island man who was guarding his medical marijuana when he shot and killed an intruder has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Kevin Metcalfe of Ocean View had stood trial for murder in the death of Larry Kuahuia. But a Circuit Court jury convicted Metcalfe of manslaughter, deciding the May 6 shooting was reckless rather than premeditated.
Police and prosecutors said Kuahuia was on Metcalfe's property to steal marijuana from a greenhouse.
Defense attorneys argued that Kuahuia attacked Metcalfe, 49, and that the shooting was self-defense.
Hawai'i County deputy prosecutor Rick Damerville said Metcalfe's medical marijuana certificate had lapsed by the time of the shooting.
MAUI WOMAN GETS PROBATION FOR THEFTS
A 21-year-old Makawao woman was sentenced Tuesday to five years' probation and 100 hours of community service for stealing items from a Macy's store in Kahului in July, the Maui News reported.
In accordance with a plea agreement, 2nd Circuit Judge Joseph Cardoza ordered Pualani Y. Franco to pay a fine of $1,200. She was granted a chance to clear her record if she successfully completes probation.
Deputy Public Defender Shelly Miyashiro said Franco is enrolled in a culinary arts program in college and would like to start her own business. When she was caught altering price tags and removing anti-theft devices from merchandise at Macy's on July 20, Franco was hanging around with the wrong crowd, her attorney said.
Franco pleaded no contest to second-degree theft.
TRIPLER WILL GET NEW COMMANDER
The Pentagon yesterday announced a command change at Tripler Army Medical Center.
The new commander will be Brig. Gen. Keith W. Gallagher, commanding general of the Europe Regional Medical Command.
Brig. Gen. Stephen L. Jones, the current Tripler commander, is being assigned as deputy commander of the Joint Task Force-National Capital Region Medical Command in Bethesda, Md.
The Pentagon in 2007 named Jones to the Tripler job.
BEACHED WHALE WAS A CUVIER'S BEAKED
A necropsy has identified the whale that swam onto Maui's Hamoa Beach and died Monday as a male Cuvier's beaked whale, about 1 to 3 years old, the Maui News reported.
The whale's stomach and intestines were empty, and that tended to confirm the initial suspicions that the whale had been ill for some time, said David Schofield of the Marine Mammal Response Unit of the National Marine Fisheries Service on Wednesday in Honolulu.
The whale had about 20 bites from cookie-cutter sharks, mostly on the belly, suggesting that it had been hanging at the surface, not eating. Beaked whales normally spend much time at great depths, hunting squid.
Tissue samples were sent to Mainland laboratories, but it will be months before results are back.
Beaked whales do not usually come close to shore and are rare in any case, but occasionally one is found in Maui County.
In April 2002, a Blainville's beaked whale, similar in appearance to the Cuvier's whale, beached itself and died at Kamaole Beach Park I in Kīhei.
PUNCHBOWL TRIBUTES CAN START TUESDAY
Members of the public on Tuesday may begin placing potted plants and artificial flowers for Easter at gravesites in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl, officials announced.
Items placed before Tuesday will be removed. Items placed Tuesday and beyond will be removed April 14.
Officials remind the public that permanent plantings, statues, vigil lights, glass objects and any other commemorative items, including toys (pinwheels, balloons, stuffed toys or similar items), are not allowed.
In addition, floral items and other decorations many not be secured to headstones or markers and metal hooks to secure potted plants or other decorations.