South Kona man gets 7 years in Ohio fatality

  • Joshua Kalili. (Photo via Record

KAILUA-KONA — A South Kona man has been sentenced to seven years in prison after his flight from police earlier this year resulted in a traffic crash that killed a 22-year-old woman in Ohio.

Joshua C.P.I. Kalili on Monday was ordered to the custody of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction to begin a seven-year sentence in connection with the April 18 incident in Ravenna Township, Ohio, that resulted in the death of Brianna N. Lewandowski, 22, of Springfield Township, Ohio.

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He will receive credit for 235 days he’s been incarcerated at Portage County Jail pending adjudication of the case, according to the ruling handed down by Portage County Common Judge Becky Doherty. According to court documents, Kalili will serve time at Lorain Correctional Institution in Grafton, Ohio.

Kalili pleaded guilty Nov. 27 to third-degree felony aggravated vehicular homicide, third-degree felony abduction, fourth-degree felony assault of a law enforcement officer and first-degree misdemeanor operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant.

The vehicular homicide charge carried the longest potential sentence of five years incarceration, followed by 36 months for abduction, 18 months for assault of a law enforcement officer and 180 days for DUI, in addition to fines and restitution, according to court documents.

The seven-year term was reached after Doherty opted to sentence Kalili to consecutive terms of four years for the vehicular homicide charge and three years for the abduction charge. He received 18 months for the assault charge and six months for the DUI offense.

“The Court finds that the consecutive sentence is necessary to protect the public from future crime or to punish the Defendant; that consecutive sentences are not disproportionate to the seriousness of the Defendant’s conduct and to the danger the defendant poses to the public,” the judgment order reads.

After release from prison, he will be supervised for five years. His right to drive in the state of Ohio will also be suspended for 25 years.

In exchange for Kalili’s plea, the state agreed to drop nine remaining charges, including second-degree aggravated vehicular homicide, kidnapping, assault, two counts resisting arrest, reckless driving, tail/license plate lighting, and misdemeanor charges for marijuana and heroin metabolites detected in his system.

Kalili’s plea followed evidence being thrown out in the case in early October after it was discovered that a blood sample was collected outside of Ohio law.

The blood sample that was taken from Kalili was taken at 5:11 a.m., more than five hours after the initial stop. Under Ohio law, the blood sample would have had to be taken at most three hours after the initial stop, the Record-Courier reported.

According to the Ohio State Patrol, the crash occurred at 11:54 p.m. April 18 after Ohio State Highway Patrol stopped a 2002 Oldsmobile Bravada on State Route 59 for a registration violation. During the interaction with the occupants, “criminal indicators and signs of impairment were observed,” the Ohio department said in a press release. A Ravenna police officer was called to assist.

The driver, later identified as Kalili, was asked to exit the car for investigative purposes and placed in the backseat of the cruiser. Inside the police vehicle, he was observed moving suspiciously and was then removed at which point, according to the Ohio police department, Kalili began to resist and assault both the trooper and officer.

A Taser was deployed multiple times on Kalili, however, he was able to flee the scene in the vehicle. The rear passenger of the Bravada was able to get out of the car before Kalili fled and was not charged in connection with the incident. A female passenger, later identified as Lewandowski, stayed in the vehicle.

The vehicle then fled westbound on State Route 59 and onto a private roadway where it struck a concrete barrier, killing Lewandowski, police said.

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Kalili then fled on foot. Ravenna, Kent and Kent State University police departments and Portage County Sheriff’s Office assisted in establishing a perimeter as they searched for the Honaunau man. He was found at about 1:25 a.m. in a nearby mobile home park and was taken into custody.

Kalili’s address in court records still lists a Honaunau address, though he told police he lived in Uniontown, Ohio, according to the Record-Courier.

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