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Suspects charged with attempted murder in beating of hotel security guard

KONA (KHON2) - Three people accused of beating a man near death returned to a Kona courtroom Friday.

Wesley Samoa, 30, of Kona, and Lama Lauvao, 30, and Natisha Tautalatasi, 41, both of Honolulu, were charged with attempted murder in the second degree.

A judge confirmed their bail at $250,000 each.

Shortly after 12:30 a.m., Monday, Sept. 17, patrol officers responded to a report of an assault at a hotel located at the 75-5000 block of Palani Road in Kailua-Kona.

A preliminary investigation revealed the 63-year-old victim was a security guard responding to a noise complaint when he approached an SUV that was playing loud music in the parking lot.

According to police, officers at the scene determined that a confrontation occurred between the victim and the vehicle's occupants, which included Samoa, Lauvao, and Tautalatasi.

"They pulled him from the golf cart onto the parking lot driveway where three of them alternated punching and kicking him even after it appeared he was unconscious," said Lt. Roylen Valera.

Because of the victim's age, prosecutors are not only fighting for a conviction, but also for many years behind bars.

"There's one law that says if the victim is over 60 that there's a mandatory minimum that the court shall give a defendant, and that's a mandatory minimum of 15 years," explained Hawaii County prosecutor Mitch Roth. If a sentence includes the possibility of parole, "the parole board could let them out at any time. When the mandatory minimum is 15 years, they have to wait at least 15 years."

The victim was taken to Kona Community Hospital in critical condition, then flown to Oahu, where he remains hospitalized.

Police ask that anyone who may have witnessed the incident to call Detective David Matsushima at (808) 326-4646 ext. 224 or via email at david.matsushima@hawaiicounty.gov, or call the Police Department's non-emergency number at (808) 935-3311.


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