Leilani shooting suspect pleads not guilty in federal court

  • HUBBARD

A 61-year-old Leilani Estates man pleaded not guilty Monday in U.S. District Court in Honolulu for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

John William “Bill” Hubbard was ordered to appear for trial at 9 a.m. Nov. 20 before Chief Judge J. Michael Seabright.

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Hubbard is the man police say threatened five people May 29 in Leilani Estates and fired multiple gunshots in an incident captured on video that went viral on social media.

Hubbard also faces state charges of first-degree robbery, carrying a firearm in the commission of a separate felony, illegally carrying a handgun, two counts of first-degree reckless endangering and five counts of first-degree terroristic threatening stemming from the same incident.

First-degree robbery and carrying a firearm in the commission of a separate felony are Class A felonies, normally punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment, but prosecutors requested extended terms of imprisonment, which means Hubbard could be sentenced to life in prison, with the possibility of parole, if convicted of both charges.

Three of the alleged victims, Ethan Edwards, Lauren Kaech and Aurorah Davis, already testified during a preliminary hearing that was never completed because Hubbard was indicted by the state in June prior to a return court date to finish the hearing. That testimony remains on the record.

Both circuit judges in Hilo, Greg Nakamura and Henry Nakamoto, recused themselves from hearing the case, perhaps because Hubbard’s wife is a state Judiciary employee in Hilo. His state case is now in the courtroom of Kona Circuit Judge Melvin Fujino.

Hubbard’s state case is currently suspended as a panel of three mental health professionals determine his fitness to stand trial. On Sept. 12, Fujino denied a defense motion for supervised release or a reduction in bail for Hubbard, who was convicted of a felony drug charge in Kentucky in 1976 and a felony firearms charge in Oregon in 1986.

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He remains in custody at Hawaii Community Correctional Center in lieu of $195,000 bail.

Email John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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