Puna man sentenced to 10 years for wild crime spree

  • PAHIO

A Puna man was sentenced Monday to 10 years in prison for a wild spree almost 2½ years ago that included an assault with a metal pipe or rebar and a victim who said he was purposely hit by a vehicle carjacked by the assailant.

Judge Peter Kubota handed the sentence down to Robert K. Pahio, who was 33 when the spree occurred.

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Pahio pleaded no contest on April 20 to two counts of first degree assault and a single count of first-degree property damage, all Class B felonies carrying a maximum 10-year prison term upon conviction.

In return for Pahio’s pleas, prosecutors dropped charges of kidnapping, a Class A felony carrying a potential 20-year prison sentence, plus first-degree terroristic threatening, two counts each of auto theft and several lesser charges.

Pahio, who will receive credit for time already served in jail, also was ordered to pay restitution of $7,820.21 to the property damage victim.

According to court documents filed by police, a man identified as James Nathan III said that on June 24, 2019, he drove to the Hawaiian Acres home of his hanai brother, Pahio, after receiving a call from him saying his baby was injured by dogs that were fighting.

Nathan reportedly told officers that once he arrived, Pahio struck him several times with a metal object, accused him of having sex with Pahio’s wife, and strangled him into unconsciousness.

Nathan said Pahio then brandished a sledgehammer and demanded the keys to the Honda Element sport-utility vehicle Nathan was driving, which belonged to Nathan’s girlfriend. Nathan, disoriented, found the keys and turned them over, documents state.

Pahio then demanded Nathan get into the passenger seat and told Nathan he needed to find a $50 bag of meth, according to documents. Nathan told police he then called the other victim, identified in documents as Frank Williams. Williams told Nathan he could find someone to get the “ice.” Pahio then reportedly drove to Ohai Street in Hilo.

According to Nathan, when they arrived, Williams saw Nathan’s face, figured out Pahio had attacked Nathan, and produced a machete in self-defense.

Pahio then struck Williams with the car and then hit a brick wall. Pahio then sped off in the Honda, which had serious front-end damage and smoke pouring from the engine compartment, according to police.

Both Nathan and Williams sustained serious injuries and were taken to Hilo Medical Center, police said.

Documents state police responding to a traffic collision found a machete at the scene. According to police, a search warrant executed on the Honda turned up a sledgehammer.

Puna patrol officers found Pahio the following morning at his Alula Road home, documents state.

According to police, Pahio sped off in a gold Nissan Murano SUV, leading police on a pursuit on subdivision roads and then on South Kulani Road on Highway 11.

Officer Jeremy Kubojiri reported Pahio was dangerously overtaking vehicles, and the pursuit was terminated. It was later determined the SUV was stolen, police said.

Pahio was arrested almost three months later after police disseminated a public bulletin seeking leads about his whereabouts.

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Court records indicate Pahio had no prior felony convictions in Hawaii.

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

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