Ex-con charged in bizarre Kalihi death has long history of crime

Ex-con charged with manslaughter in bizarre death in Kalihi has long history of crime and violence
(image: Facebook/Brandon Reis)
(image: Facebook/Brandon Reis)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The man charged in the death of a man crushed by his own car last week has a long history of violence, court documents show.

Brandon Reis, 33, made his first court appearance Monday.

He is charged with manslaughter, weapons offenses, and terroristic threatening after police arrested him in connection with a bizarre death in Kalihi last week that led to a 36-year-old man crushed by his own car.

Reis is accused of shooting at Kyen Knowles, who was not hit by the bullet but apparently jumped out of his moving car to escape. That's when his car rolled over him. Knowles was pronounced dead at the scene.

Court documents show Reis has a long history of run-ins with the law.

When Reis was arrested, he was awaiting three separate trials for offenses that include a robbery case from 2011, a robbery and kidnapping offense from 2013, and driving a stolen car in 2013.

His bail was set at $40,000 for the 2011 robbery case, $125,000 for the 2013 robbery and kidnapping case, and $50,000 for the 2013 car theft case.

Attorney Victor Bakke said Reis was out on the streets because he was able to post bail each time.

"The prosecutor should have stepped in, declared him to be a danger to the community and move to have the court to hold him without bail," Bakke said.

Court documents released Monday explain that police were able to track him down after surveillance video captured his license plate on camera. Officers were familiar with him from previous encounters.

Reis has 39 prior arrests, including for 22 felonies. He has five convictions, including abuse of a family member, assaulting a police officer, and a burglary case in which he was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2003.

Bakke said the three most recent cases never went to trial because the judge kept continuing them.

"It looks like he played the system pretty well. It's not the judges fault, I mean … having three lawyers, a mental evaluation, and kind of faking like you're gonna do a plea agreement and then don't do it at the last minute can easily drag the case out for years," said Bakke.

A spokesman for the prosecutor's office confirmed they did not ask for Reis' bail to be revoked in the past. They would not comment any further.

Reis' bail is set at $1 million.

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