Family of security guard who died 2 years after attack wants his legacy remembered

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Updated: Oct. 2, 2020 at 6:03 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The family of a Kona security guard brutally beaten two years ago hopes his story won’t be forgotten.

John Kanui was working as a security guard at the Kona Seaside Hotel in 2018 when he responded to a noise complaint and was beaten unconscious by three people.

Kanui died from his injuries this week.

After watching him suffer for two years, the Kanui family hopes John’s story will serve as a reminder that life is precious.

“Overhearing him, he said, ‘Heavenly Father, I’m ready. I’m tired.’ So that kind of told me that he was ready. He fought for two years,” said Jennifer Farrell, Kanui’s daughter.

Kanui celebrated his 65th birthday in August. He died Monday at a veterans home in California, which was closed to visitors because of the pandemic.

“We weren’t able to be with him these last couple of months because of COVID. So it’s really hard to think that he was alone his last couple of months,” said Kanui’s niece, Erica Hill.

He was left quadriplegic and suffered from a traumatic brain injury.

“I don’t think they can understand the amount of pain and the type of pain that we’ve gone through,” Farrell said.

Natisha Tautalatasi was sentenced to life in prison for the attack. The Hawaii Paroling Authority said she must serve a minimum of 35 years before she is eligible for parole.

Wesley Samoa was also sentenced to life behind bars and must serve a minimum of 30 years.

Lama Lauvao got a 10-year term and must serve the full sentence.

The Hawaii Prosecuting Attorney said Kanui’s death does not change their sentence.

“Attempted murder in the second degree and murder in the second degree actually hold the same penalties as each other,” said Mitch Roth.

Before the attack, the family said Kanui was strong and healthy.

“He was one of the strongest people I had known. He was completely active. He was always going fishing. Very involved with his church,” Hill said.

Farrell said she is still working on forgiveness, but she finds comfort knowing her father is finally at peace.

“I would say that I love him and that I’m so proud of how hard he fought for the past two years,” Farrell said.

Because of the pandemic, the Kanui family is unsure about funeral plans.

They want to thank the community, especially Alan Kimi, the owner of Seaside Hotels Hawaii, for their continued love, support, and prayers.

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