HONOLULU (KHNL) - Three men involved in a deadly road rage incident in Waianae two years ago begged for leniency at their sentencing Wednesday.
Dillion Lepolo, Julius Mitchell and Lugavai Momoe were originally charged with murder. In April, they were allowed to plead guilty to the lesser charge of assault.
Now, they want more -- probation instead of prison.
A grieving woman watches, as her son's violent attackers apologize.
"I want to say sorry to Roger's mother for what happened," Mitchell said through tears. "And if you can find it in your heart to forgive us."
"I apologize deeply to you for your loss," Lepolo said.
"I pray for the victim every night, even the family, 'cause I know how to lose somebody," Momoe said. "I just lost my dad."
Prosecutors say Julius Mitchell, Dillion Lepolo and Lugavai Momoe beat up a bicyclist in the parking lot of the Waianae Market following a traffic dispute. It happened September 1, 2006.
An autopsy found Roger Haudenshild suffered a heart attack and died. Witnesses say the trio punched and kicked the 47-year-old until he was unconscious, then continued assaulting him for several minutes.
"Had they not engaged in this vicious, violent and cowardly act, Mr. Haudenshild would not have died in the parking lot of Waianae Market in a pool of his own blood," Landon Murata, deputy prosecutor, said.
Lepolo and Momoe say right before the deadly incident, they were leading productive lives. They ask for probation, so they can work and contribute positively to society.
Family members break down in tears, as the judge sentences all three men to 10 years in prison.
"Probation, for a crime as vicious and cruel and as thoughtless and indifferent to consequences as this one, would not reflect the seriousness of the offense or promote respect for the law," Richard Perkins, Circuit judge, said.