Hawai‘i Island police officer pleads not guilty on assault, burglary charges; trial slated for January
11:41 a.m. Friday update: A Hawai‘i Island police officer accused of assaulting a 20-year-old man in Nā‘ālehu in August pleaded not guilty and has requested a jury trial.
Mark Kaili appeared in Kona’s 3rd Circuit Court this morning before Circuit Court Judge Wendy DeWeese who scheduled a trial for Jan. 2, 2024.
The officer was arrested on Aug. 15 and posted $6,000 bail after the reported incident on Aug. 12.
Original post: A Hawai‘i Island police officer accused of breaking into a Ka‘ū residence and assaulting a 20-year-old man was indicted by a Kona grand jury.
Mark Kaili Jr., who has been with the department for just over two years and was stationed in Puna as a patrol officer, was indicted Sept. 7 on third-degree assault, a misdemeanor, and first-degree burglary, a class B felony. He is scheduled to appear in 3rd Circuit Court for an arraignment and plea this morning.
Charges stem from an incident on Aug. 15 where police say two masked men, one identified by witnesses as Kaili, entered a residence in Nā‘ālehu and assaulted a 20-year-old man who was at home with his grandfather. During the alleged attack, the grandfather unmasked one of the suspects, who later was identified initially through social media as Kaili, according to police.
Kaili was not on duty at the time of the incident, police said.
The second suspect, identified as 27-year-old Cody Kanahele, is the cousin of the 20-year-old. According to police, he was arrested a short time after the assault occurred. Kanahele is also indicted on charges of first-degree burglary and third-degree assault.
The burglary charge carries a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison.