Testimony continues in attempted murder trial

  • Shannon Ke appears on the third day of his jury trial for attempted murder of a police officer Wednesday in Circuit Court. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

  • Sgt. Grad Elarionoff takes the stand at Shannon Ke’s attempted murder trial of a police officer Wednesday in Circuit Court. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

  • Shannon Ke, center, appears on the third day of his jury trial for attempted murder of a police officer Wednesday in Circuit Court. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

Seven witnesses took the stand Wednesday during the third day of trial for a Kailua-Kona man accused of attempted murder.

Shannon Kaleolani Ke is charged with first-degree attempted murder with the enhancement of a hate crime, disorderly conduct, first-degree assault, two counts of first-degree assault on law enforcement officer Randall Hancock and resisting arrest in connection with a 2019 incident on the shoreline fronting Huggo’s On The Rocks in Kailua-Kona.

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Two restaurant patrons who witnessed the altercation testified as to what they observed March 26, 2019. Their testimony mirrored what previous witnesses recounted, except for one detail. One of the diners said he saw Officer Kaneala Abaya deploy a taser on Ke. No other eyewitnesses reported seeing that.

Three other Hawaii Police Department Officers also took the stand, revealing what they encountered when responding to the scene after the affray was over and Ke was in custody. And a police dispatcher shared information regarding the 911 phone calls that came in that evening.

Sgt. Grad Elarionoff was at the restaurant when Hancock returned after changing into dry clothes to move his car.

“At first I thought he was OK. He jumped into his car and when I looked at him through the windshield, I knew something was wrong,” Elarionoff testified. “He had a blank stare on his face. He put the car in reverse and backed into another vehicle.”

The superior officer stated he then knew he made a mistake when he told Hancock to move his car.

“I ordered him to go to the hospital,” he said.

During cross-examination, Deputy Public Defender James Greenberg asked Elarionoff if Hancock told him he was going to deploy his taser on Ke.

Elarionoff replied he didn’t recall.

Greenberg then asked him, “You wouldn’t tase anyone near the water, would you?”

“It just depends on the circumstances,” the sergeant replied.

Dr. Michael Beshoner was the emergency room physician at Kona Community Hospital the evening Hancock came in seeking treatment. He testified Wednesday that he ordered CT scans of Hancock’s face, brain and cervical spine to rule out broken facial bones, bleeding to the brain and spinal injury. All results came back negative. His final diagnosis was cervical strain/sprain, multiple contusions to the face, jaw and nose, bleeding of the lip and a possible concussion.

He advised Hancock that worsening symptoms such as dizziness, confusion, headache and loss of use or tingling of limbs could mean delayed bleeding in the brain and he should seek care immediately.

Final witnesses are expected to take the stand today, with closing arguments scheduled for Friday.

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If convicted of first-degree attempted murder, Ke faces life in prison without parole.

Email Laura Ruminski at lruminski@westhawaiitoday.com.

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