Captain Cook 29-year-old found guilty for ‘End of World’ murder and arson of BMW
On May 25, 2021, Kona patrol officers responded at about 9:30 p.m. to a report of an unresponsive male lying on the ground and discovered 46-year-old Joey Richmond riddled with multiple gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Witnesses said a BMW sped away from the scene.
The next day, police found Richmond’s BMW, which had been removed from the shooting scene. It was down an embankment on Keala O Keawe Road (Route 160) in South Kona — and it had been torched.
At an arraignment and plea hearing on July 1, 2021, Hawai’i Police Department Det. Donovan Kohara said Richmond had been staying with a friend at the Sheraton Kona Resort and Spa at Keauhou Bay.
Kohara testified that investigators pulled surveillance from the front of the hotel that showed Asagra arriving in a red Toyota SUV and being dropped off the evening of May 25. He returned to the entrance shortly after with Richmond, based on video evidence. The pair then drove away in the victim’s white BMW. During cross-examination, Kohara confirmed investigators learned Richmond was a drug dealer.
On Tuesday, Hawaiʻi County prosecutors told the court they intend to seek an extended term of imprisonment, which would subject Asagra to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murder conviction, according to Prosecuting Attorney Kelden Waltjen.
Prosecutors say they are seeking a longer term to protect the public because Asagra is a persistent offender who has been convicted of two or more felonies, which were committed at different times when he was an adult. His long wrap sheet begins with criminal offenses that began in 2011, when he was a minor.
At the time of his arrest in 2021, Asagra also was facing charges for crimes committed during a 2020 home invasion that included stealing a vehicle, drug offenses, terroristic threatening and credit card theft. He was out on $500,000 bond in connection with that case.
On May 26, 2021, Asagra was scheduled to appear in court on those home invasion charges. But according to court minutes, the defendant’s mother informed the public defender that Asagra received head-to-toe burns and was at the hospital and would be transported to the Straub burn unit in Honolulu.
Asagra made his initial appearance for the shooting and arson on June 18, 2021, while in a wheelchair with white bandages wrapped around both caves of his legs.
After reading the jury’s guilty verdict on Tuesday, the court ordered Asagra, who remains in custody having been denied bail, to return for an extended term hearing on June 27, 2023. A jury will be empaneled for the hearing, but the ultimate decision will be made by the judge.
Second-degree murder typically carries a penalty of life in prison with the possibility of parole. First-degree arson carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
“The jury’s verdict reaffirms our office’s commitment to seek justice for Mr. Richmond,” Waltjen said in a press release.
The investigation was handled by Sgt. Kimmerlyn Makuakane-Jarrell, South Hilo Cellblock, formerly of the Area II Criminal Investigation Section of the Hawai‘i Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by deputy prosecuting attorneys Kauanoe Jackson and Kate Perazich.