East Hawaii News

Martin Guilty in Police Shooting, Faces Life Without Parole

April 24, 2014, 2:29 PM HST
* Updated April 24, 3:41 PM
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A jury this morning found Keaka Daniel Martin guilty of first-degree attempted murder in connection with the shooting of two police officers in Hilo early last year.

The charge, which resulted from the shooting of Officer Jason Gouveia in the hip, carries a mandatory penalty of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Martin, 32, of Hilo had faced another first-degree attempted murder charge for the shooting of Officer Garrett Hatada in the leg.

The jury, however, voted to convict Martin of the lesser charge of first-degree assault on that count.

The jury also returned guilty verdicts on eight of nine other charges, including six firearms violations, in connection with the incident that occurred near The Pono Place on Kilauea Avenue on the night of Jan. 2, 2013

Martin was acquitted of the final count of altering a firearm.

Martin was apprehended the day after the shooting at his sister’s house on East Palai Street with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Circuit Court Judge Greg Nakamura set sentencing for Martin for 9 a.m. on June 20.

Steve Strauss, Martin’s court-appointed attorney, said the verdicts will likely be appealed.

The jury had initially reached a verdict on Wednesday, but apparent discrepancies in their voting process prompted Nakamura to clarify their procedures and ordered jurors to return to their deliberations.

Strauss said that process, as well as some evidentiary matters, could provide grounds for an appeal.

He also noted that it was unusual that the jury chose the lesser crime of assault instead of attempted murder in the shooting of just one of the officers.

“It’s hard to imagine Mr. Martin wanted to kill one officer and not the other,” he said following the verdict.

Strauss argued during the trial that after shooting the officers in the lower extremities Martin had numerous opportunities to kill both but chose not to.

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