Not guilty plea in police shooting
HILO — A 31-year-old Hilo man accused of shooting and wounding two police officers last week has been released from the hospital and made his initial court appearance on Friday in custody and in a wheelchair.
Keaka Kaneiala Martin pleaded not guilty to two counts of first-degree attempted murder, plus second-degree reckless endangering and numerous firearms violations.
Third Circuit District Court Judge David Kuwahara scheduled a preliminary hearing for Jan. 31 at 2 p.m. to allow Martin’s court-appointed attorney, Steve Strauss, time to go over the charges with Martin and to prepare for a possible hearing. Strauss told the court that due to the severity of Martin’s injuries, he may have to be re-admitted to the hospital.
“My understanding is that there has been no bail set, and we would ask for a bail setting,” Strauss told the court.
Deputy Prosecutor Glenn Shiigi urged the judge to continue Martin’s current no-bail status.
Kuwahara denied bail but granted Strauss’ request that a bail study be done.
“There’s a presumption that there’s a serious risk of flight due to the severity of the … two attempted first-degree murder charges,” Kuwahara said.
Martin said little during his court appearance, answering two questions from the judge with “yes” and “yes, sir.”
He’s accused of shooting Hilo Patrol Officers Garrett Hatada and Joshua Gouveia shortly before 9 p.m. on Jan. 2 in the parking lot of Pono Place on Kilauea Avenue, the site of the former Green Onion cocktail lounge.
Police say Martin shot himself in the chest as a law enforcement manhunt converged on an East Palai Street home where he was hiding on Jan. 3. Martin was arrested and taken to Hilo Medical Center for treatment of critical injuries. Police say a 9 mm handgun was found in the house.
The 40-year-old Hatada, a 14-year department veteran, and Gouveia, 31, who’s been on the force for four years, were hospitalized for leg wounds, but both were reportedly released from the hospital on Sunday. Police say they were wounded by 9 mm gunfire. They were investigating reports of gunfire in the area about an hour earlier, and Martin allegedly opened fire on the officers from beneath a parked vehicle.
The suspect then fled on foot, and allegedly tried to enter the nearby Hilo Lagoon Center business and condominium complex. Police reportedly identified Martin from the building’s security video and tracked him down to the East Palai Street home on a tip.
According to court documents, an eyewitness told police he saw Martin discharge six or seven rounds from a silver and black 9 mm pistol into the air near Wailoa State Park prior to the police shooting.
Martin, who has 17 prior criminal convictions but none for felonies, also faces a first-degree bail jumping charge. County Prosecutor Mitch Roth filed a complaint on Jan. 4, alleging that Martin failed to appear for trial on Nov. 26 on first-degree robbery and firearms charges. In a deal with prosecutors, a co-defendant in the case, 30-year-old Paul Borowski, pleaded no contest on Dec. 3 to a charge of second-degree robbery, and is set to be sentenced on Jan. 31.
Police allege Borowski and Martin used a gun while taking a 30-year-old Mountain View man’s backpack on May 22 at the emergency water spigots in Mountain View Park. Borowski was the one who brandished the firearm in the robbery, a police spokeswoman said.