KAILUA-KONA — A second accomplice was sentenced Monday in Kona Circuit Court for her role in aiding and abetting cop killer Justin Waiki.
Mokihana Veincent was ordered to serve up to five years in prison for her role of hindering prosecution in the case that kept the community in a state of fear for several days as police tracked down and ultimately killed Waiki in an exchange of bullets July 20, 2018, in Ka‘u. Five others await adjudication. One was already sentenced.
Veincent pleaded guilty in July to first-degree hindering prosecution. In exchange for her plea, two charges of accomplice to prohibited ownership/possession of a firearm were dropped.
During sentencing, Judge Robert D.S. Kim told Veincent that she knowingly hindered prosecution and rendered assistance to Waiki, who was on the lam after allegedly shooting Hawaii Police Department Officer Bronson Kaliloa on July 17, 2018, during a traffic stop on Highway 11 in Mountain View. The veteran police officer died early July 18.
“The islandwide manhunt put the community at risk,” Kim said, noting that Veincent knew Waiki was a known fugitive who killed a police officer. “This conduct will not be accepted and you will go to prison.”
He said the sentence sends a message that “this type of behavior will not go unpunished.”
“You were part of it. I cannot allow you to benefit from probation because of the risk and harm you present to the community. It was terror … terror in the community,” Kim said.
The Hawaii Paroling Authority within six months will set the minimum term Veincent will have to serve before becoming eligible for parole.
Prior to Kim handed down the sentence, Veincent’s court-appointed attorney, Christopher Eggert, argued for a deferred acceptance of the guilty plea or probation for his client.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Kauanoe Jackson argued for the five-year sentence, the maximum that could be handed down for the Class C felony.
“She took the protection of one friend and put the lives of the community at stake,” Jackson said. “She knew how dangerous Waiki was.”
Veincent declined to make a comment in court, rather she submitted a handwritten letter, which became sealed.
Veincent’s sentencing is the second for the group of seven people charged with various crimes in connection with aiding Waiki.
Also charged are Krystle Ferreira, Malia Lajala, Jorge Pagan-Torres, Jamie Jason and Taumi Carr.
Keil Brende also pleaded guilty to hindering prosecution and was sentenced last month to five years in prison.
Jury selection continues in the trial of Ferreira, Lajala and Pagan-Torres. They are each charged with two counts of first-degree hindering prosecution, first-degree attempted murder and place to keep pistol or revolver. Lajala faces an additional charge of third-degree promoting a dangerous drug.
The upcoming trial date was set earlier this month after the state’s case against Ferreira, Lajala and Pagan-Torres was separated from Jason’s in July. The four were set to go on trial June 27 before Kim, however, arguments over appeals and jurisdiction delayed the matter.
Jason faces two counts of first-degree hindering prosecution, first-degree attempted murder and place to keep pistol or revolver, and two firearms offenses, ownership or possession prohibited fugitive. A trial date has yet to be set.
Carr is set to stand trial in December on charges of first-degree hindering prosecution and conspiracy.
Email Laura Ruminski at email@example.com.