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Man indicted for Keauhou murder

  • Asagra

A 27-year-old Kona man has been indicted on charges of murder and arson in connection with a fatal May 25 shooting in Keauhou.

Ioane Asagra was indicted by a Hilo grand jury on Wednesday on one count each of second-degree murder and first-degree arson in connection with the shooting death of Joey Richmond, 46, of Kailua-Kona, at the end of Keauhou-Kainaliu Beach Road, known locally as “End of the World,” in Keauhou.

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A preliminary hearing slated Monday was delayed after the judge set to hear the matter recused himself. Kona District Court Judge Joseph P. Florendo Jr. said he would be unable to preside over the preliminary hearing for Asagra because he had come upon the scene of the burned vehicle.

With Asagra now indicted, the preliminary hearing will not be held today as scheduled.

An arraignment and plea hearing for Asagra, who remains in custody in lieu of $550,000 bail, had not been set as of press-time Thursday. Per the indictment, Asagra is prohibited from contacting a handful of people, including the victim’s nephew.

Asagra was extradited June 16 to Kailua-Kona from Honolulu, where he had been hospitalized while recovering from burns allegedly suffered when he set Richmond’s car on fire after the shooting. Asagra was taken into the custody of the Hawaii Police Department upon his arrival at Kona International Airport at Keahole and transported to the Kona Police Station.

Shortly before 9:30 p.m. May 25, police responded to a report of an unresponsive man lying face-down on the ground at Keauhou-Kainaliu Beach Road. Police told West Hawaii Today that a family fishing at the site had come upon the scene and reported it to police.

Witnesses reportedly saw a silver- or gray-colored BMW leaving the area at a high rate of speed and head south on the Mamalahoa Bypass at the time of the reported shooting.

Later, police responded to a report of a vehicle on fire off Highway 160. There, they found a silver BMW on fire.

An autopsy determined Richmond died of multiple gunshot wounds, police said. The manner of death was listed as homicide.

At the time of the shooting, Asagra was free on $500,000 bail in connection with a December home invasion.

Second-degree murder is punishable by up to life in prison with the possibility of parole. First-degree arson is a Class A felony carries up to 20 years behind bars without the possibility of suspension of sentence or probation.

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Prosecutors will seek extended terms of imprisonment per the indictment because Asagra allegedly used a firearm in the commission of the felony. Court records also indicate he is subject to extended terms of imprisonment necessary “for the protection of the public.”

Anyone with information regarding the incident should contact Detective Kimmerlyn Makuakane-Jarrell at (808) 326-4646, ext. 262, via email at Kimmerlyn.Makuakane-Jarrell@hawaiicounty.gov, or the department’s nonemergency line at (808) 935-3311.

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