Puna Man Charged With String of Crimes Including Kidnapping, Robbery
Lawrence Kekoa Botelho, 33, of Puna, has been charged in relation to a string of offenses that occurred between Oct. 20-22, 2021, according to the Hawaii County Office of the Prosecuting Attorney.
Botelho, who has a prior felony conviction for Robbery in the Second Degree, was charged with six offenses including Robbery in the First Degree (theft of a Mazda Tribute with the use of a knife, firearm, and/or simulated firearm), Kidnapping, Terroristic Threatening in the First Degree (with the use of a knife, firearm, and/or simulated firearm), Promoting a Dangerous Drug in the Third Degree (any amount of methamphetamine), and Prohibited Acts Related to Drug Paraphernalia.
The most serious offenses, Robbery in the First Degree and Kidnapping, are both class A felony offenses that carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. Botelho, a repeat offender, faces a mandatory prison term if convicted as charged of any of the felony offenses, with the exception of the drug offense. At the time of his arrest, Botelho was also arrested for an outstanding warrant related to a motion for revocation of his felony probation.
Botelho will make his initial appearance Monday in Hilo District Court. He remains in custody in lieu of $132,000 bail on all matters.
The investigation was handled by Officer Lawrence Kobayashi, South Hilo Patrol, and Officer Steven Grace, Area I Special Enforcement Unit, Criminal Investigation Section, Hawai‘i Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Deputy Prosecuting Attorney R. Winston Albright.
The charges are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. The Office of the Prosecuting Attorney remains dedicated to the pursuit of justice with integrity and commitment. Anyone having information to assist local law enforcement should call Crime Stoppers at (808) 961-8300.