HONOLULU (KHON2) — The suspect in a vicious robbery of an elderly man is a 16-year-old boy who’s been arrested. The victim’s family is hoping to get justice by having the teenager charged as an adult.
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The robbery was recorded by a neighbor’s security camera as the suspect got off his moped and attacked 77-year-old Manuel Corpuz. HPD said the suspect was arrested and released pending investigation on Monday. Corpuz’s family is hoping prosecutors charge the suspect as an adult.
“Absolutely, I don’t think anybody for that matter deserves that type of attack. Specially our kupuna or elderly,” said Fritz Medalla, the victim’s son-in-law.
Retired Circuit Court Judge Randal Lee said he expects prosecutors to make that request, and he said a family court judge has good reason to approve it.
“In this particular case the offense is rather egregious. He blindsided the victim, used substantial force to subdue the victim, and then take his wallet,” said Lee.
Lee said the judge will also consider the suspect’s criminal record. But the most important factor is the seriousness of the crime.
“It’s really difficult for a judge to discount the seriousness of the crime so in my opinion, I think it’s more likely the court would transfer the juvenile to adult court,” said Lee.
Lee said if the suspect is tried as an adult and found guilty, he would also be eligible for enhanced sentencing because the victim is elderly. Which means instead of a 10 year sentence for robbery, the judge could give him 20 years.
It would be drastically different if the 16-year-old suspect stayed in Family Court, where he could be placed in a juvenile detention facility and then released when he turns 18. The victim’s family said that’s not justice.
“I think a message should be sent for individuals like this, that this is uncalled for,” said Medalla.
We asked the prosecutor’s office if they plan to charge the suspect as an adult. A spokesman said they cannot comment.