HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A young man who pleaded guilty to beating up a senior citizen in Leeward Oahu avoided a lengthy prison sentence Wednesday. Nico McLean will have to serve one year in jail, under a plea deal.
Teresita Pascua, 68, took a beating at her home in Maili in January. After being discharged from the hospital, she showed us the stitches and bruises on her petite body.
She says Nico McLean approached her in her carport, looking for someone who owed him money, and then attacked her from behind when she turned to go into her house.
"My sinuses were all broken, my left cheek, my nose," the victim said in February after being released from the hospital. "So what they did was they plated up here and my nose is being held by plates."
Facing a possible 20-year prison term for first-degree robbery and first-degree burglary, the 19-year-old McLean cut a deal with prosecutors and, in September, pleaded guilty to the much lesser charges of second-degree assault and misdemeanor trespassing for the vicious attack.
At sentencing, he offered no hint of remorse.
"I just like take my punishment like a man," McLean said. "Hopefully I can grow from this experience. That's all I get for say."
McLean's family claims he was framed by the real assailants.
"Are you taking responsibility for your actions in this case?" Richard Pollack, Circuit Court judge, asked.
"Yes," McLean replied.
The judge called the defendant's conduct "particularly reprehensible," but followed the plea agreement, and sentenced him to one year in jail and five years probation.
"We believe that this is a fair resolution for this particular case," Edward Aquino, deputy public defender, said.
McLean has been locked up at the Oahu Community Correctional Center since he was arrested and charged about 10 months ago. That means he has only two months left to serve.
The judge also ordered him to pay the victim $649.53 in restitution.