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Bail Maintained for Captain Cook Man Facing Murder, Arson Charges

By Tiffany DeMasters
June 18, 2021, 11:47 AM HST
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Sheriff’s deputy escorts Ioane Asagra out of the courtroom following his initial appearance in District Court on Friday, June 18, 2021. (PC: Tiffany DeMasters)

A District Court judge in Kona maintained bail of $550,000 for a Captain Cook man facing second-degree murder and arson charges in connection to a man found shot dead at End of the World in Keauhou.

Twenty-seven-year-old Ioane Asagra appeared for his initial appearance this morning before Per Diem Judge Robert Crudele. He was in a wheelchair with white bandages wrapped around both calves of his legs. Deputy Prosecutor Kate Perazich asked that bail be maintained as Asagra is pending charges in two separate felony cases and is currently on probation for a third.

Perazich told the court she plans to file a motion requesting to deny bail.

Asagra was represented by defense attorney William Reece. He asked that bail be reduced to $100,000 and release him into the custody of his family where he could remain under house arrest.

“This defendant is in a wheelchair, he’s not a flight risk whatsoever,” Reece said. “He is admanently denying being the principal person involved in this.”

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Reece told the court Asagra has severe burns to his legs that need daily dressing changes.

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“I believe putting him in the hotbed of COVID at HCCC would be unsafe for his condition,” Reece said.

Crudele ultimately maintained bail but encouraged Reece to file a motion proving Asagra is incapable of “ambulating,” walking from place to place.

A preliminary hearing was scheduled for June 21.

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Asagra was arrested Wednesday, June 16, on an outstanding warrant as well as suspicion of second-degree murder in the death of 46-year-old Joey Richmond, who was found shot on Keauhou Kainaliu Beach Road, also known as “End of the World,” the evening of May 25. According to the Hawai‘i Police Department, Asagra was extradited back to the Big Island after receiving medical treatment on O‘ahu.

An autopsy showed Richmond died from multiple gunshot wounds to the body. Detectives from HPD’s Area II Criminal Investigation Section also learned the vehicle Richmond was driving, a BMW, had been removed from the scene. The vehicle was found the following morning on Keala O Keawe Road (Route 160) down an embankment and had been burned.

On May 26, a day after Richmond’s body was discovered, Asagra was scheduled to appear in court on charges stemming from a home invasion in December. According to court minutes, the defendant’s mother informed Asagra’s counsel her son suffered head-to-toe burns, was at the hospital and would be transported to the Straub Burn Center in Honolulu.

Asagra was indicted in 3rd Circuit Court in February in connection to the home invasion. He is facing a myriad of felony offenses including robbery, terroristic threatening, drug charges and assault after breaking into a home and threatening two people with a firearm. A bench warrant of $500,000 was issued by Chief Judge Robert DS Kim for his arrest.

Asagra was taken into custody in February but posted bail on April 30.

Asagra is also facing charges for crimes committed in July 2020. Offenses include stealing a vehicle, drug charges, terroristic threatening and credit card theft.

Tiffany DeMasters
Tiffany DeMasters is a reporter for Big Island Now. Tiffany worked as the cops and courts reporter for West Hawaii Today from 2017 to 2019. She also contributed stories to Ke Ola Magazine and Honolulu Civil Beat.
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