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Alleged kidnapper breaks down in court

March 18, 2017 - 5:45pm

HILO — A 30-year-old Mountain View man accused of holding his estranged 25-year-old girlfriend and the couple’s three children against their will for five days in a Mountain View shack had an emotional breakdown in his initial appearance Friday in Hilo District Court.

Israel Allen Chapson turned to an older woman in the courtroom gallery and wailed, “You know I would never put my hands on them! Why would you say that? You know I would never do that!”

The woman left abruptly as Chapson was returned to the courthouse cellblock by sheriff’s deputies.

Chapson is charged with four counts of kidnapping, two counts each of felony domestic abuse and third-degree promotion a dangerous drug, and one count each of marijuana possession and drug paraphernalia.

Judge Peter Bresciani ordered Chapson and co-defendants Chevy Iaukea, also known as Chevy Torres, and Joseph Soares, to return at 2 p.m. Tuesday for a preliminary hearing.

Iaukea and Soares, both 29 of Mountain View, are charged with four counts of accessory to kidnapping.

All of the kidnapping and accessory charges are Class A felonies punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment upon conviction.

According to court documents filed by police, the woman reported Chapson dragged her by her hair and shirt, causing pain to her neck, and “tapped” her on her temple with a hammer, also causing pain. She said the violence took place in front of the couple’s sons, ages 8 and 6, and their 3-year-old daughter.

The older boy reportedly told police Chapson hit him in the chest and struck his back with a belt.

Both boys said they were given only minimal food and water and thought they’d die if they hadn’t made their escape after five days of confinement.

Court documents indicate Soares and Iaukea guarded the door of the shack, and the woman asked them to let her and her children go. Soares reportedly told her, “No! Bitches should obey their men. If not, they get cracks.” Iaukea allegedly told the woman she was afraid of getting in trouble if Iaukea let them go.

Melody Parker, Chapson’s court-appointed attorney, argued there was insufficient evidence to charge two of the kidnapping counts as Class A felonies. The judge let the charges stand, but reduced Chapson’s bail from $251,000 to $150,000.

“These are very serious charges, and there are a lot of them. At the same time, I’m aware of what bail on a murder charge would be, and this is not murder,” Bresciani said.

The judge also reduced Soares’ bail from $200,000 to $150,000.

Iaukea’s bail remains at $200,000, but the judge ordered a bail study be done.

None of the suspects have prior felony convictions, documents state.

Bresciani ordered the defendants to have no contact with the alleged victims if they do post bail.

“When I say no contact, there’s a period at the end of that sentence,” the judge told Chapson. “And you don’t know anyone who’s more serious about enforcing that than I am. You understand that?”

“Yes, sir,” Chapson replied, tearfully.

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