Men who hurt girl with explosive device get weekends in jail - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Men who hurt girl with explosive device get weekends in jail

Marc Bantolina Marc Bantolina
Joelson Ea Joelson Ea
Cydnee Somera Cydnee Somera

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - She suffered injuries to her hand when a homemade device exploded near her during the 2005 New Year's celebration. Nearly four years later, the Oahu girl received an emotional blow.

On Wednesday, Cydnee Somera spoke tearfully at the sentencing for the two men responsible for the blast. She left disappointed after learning they will serve just weekends in jail.

Somera was 11 years old when shrapnel from the explosion shattered her left hand. Now, a judge shatters her hopes for a lengthy prison term for the men involved in her case.

For the first time since New Year's 2005, Cydnee Somera comes face to face with the men who hurt her.

"I've been waiting three years for this day to come, waiting for justice to be served," she said through tears.

Prosecutors say Joelson Ea and Marc Bantolina set off a homemade explosive device on Kihale Street in Aiea. Somera was lighting firecrackers nearby.

The blast was so powerful, it took out car windows.

"I couldn't forget about it," Somera said about her nightmares. "Every time I closed my eyes, I would always see a pool of blood on my hand streaming down to my legs."

She says she underwent six surgeries on her hand.

"I ultimately paid for your mistakes," she said. "And now it's time for you to pay for this mistake."

Ea was convicted of reckless endangering, criminal property damage and assault. Bantolina was convicted of reckless endangering.

Both men apologize.

"I'm sorry," Ea said. "I'm embarrassed. I'm ashamed for what I've done."

Much to Somera's disappointment, the judge sentences Ea to 12 weekends in jail and 250 hours of community service. Bantolina must serve two weekends in jail and perform 100 hours of community service.

"What the defendants did that night was the product of exceedingly faulty judgment," Richard Perkins, Circuit judge, said. "But the harm that they caused was never intended."

"Weekends at jail is, well, it doesn't cause as much as hardship as this family continues to go through," Sidney Somera, victim's father, said.

The judge says each man has led an otherwise law-abiding life and appears to be genuinely remorseful.

The two are scheduled to turn themselves in January 2nd for their first weekend in lock-up.

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