Grand jury hands down indictments


A Hilo grand jury handed down indictments on June 6 against four individuals in three separate felony cases, including one former star high school athlete.

Isaiah Kaonohi Ekau, 20, of Pahoa was charged with first-degree burglary and second-degree theft for a home break-in on Manalo Street in Hawaiian Beaches sometime between Sept. 9 and Sept. 18 last year. A bench warrant set his bail at $7,000, and Ekau was ordered to have no contact with the victims.

Police said a guitar and ukulele, with an estimated value of $1,650, were stolen, and the indictment also lists a wooden drum as stolen, as well.

The 6-foot-2 Ekau guided eighth-seeded Pahoa High School to the 2010 Division II state title in basketball with a 31-point performance over top-seeded Roosevelt High of Honolulu in the opening round of the tournament. A prodigious leaper, he also led the Daggers to a runner-up finish in the state Division II volleyball tournament that year, his senior season.

Ekau’s father, Daniel, died during his son’s sophomore year in high school, and the younger Ekau became a feel-good statewide media story after the Dagger hoopsters became the Cinderella champions with a 10-15 overall record.

Ekau was named Big Island Athlete of the Year for 2010.

First-degree burglary is a Class B felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison, and second-degree theft is a Class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

In a separate case, 24-year-old Kehau Pua and 48-year-old Leona Lisa Haleamau, both of Hilo, are accused of an April 26 break-in of a home on East Palai Street in Hilo. Separate indictments charge Pua with first-degree burglary and fourth-degree theft, the latter a petty misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail, and Haleamau with first-degree burglary.

Police said several items, including electronic equipment, jewelry and carved goods were stolen. The indictment set the value of the items is less than $100.

Bench warrants set Pua’s bail at $5,500 and Haleamau’s at $5,000.

Pua filed for a temporary restraining order against the victim in the case, Walter Manuia. Pua failed to show up on June 5 for a hearing on her petition and it was dismissed without prejudice, which means he is free to re-file. Court records indicate that Manuia was not served with the petition.

In a third case, the grand jury indicted 28-year-old Timothy Southern Jr. of Hilo with three counts of unauthorized entry to a motor vehicle for allegedly breaking into three parked cars at Mooheau Park in downtown Hilo on Nov. 5, 2010.

Police said rain guards, an adaptor cord and several other items were stolen from the cars.

Unauthorized entry to a motor vehicle is a Class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison.