‘He destroyed my family’: Emotions run high at sentencing of man convicted in deadly crash

Emotions run high in court at sentencing of man convicted for a deadly Halawa crash
Published: Jan. 26, 2023 at 9:02 PM HST|Updated: Jan. 27, 2023 at 12:01 PM HST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A man who killed a pedestrian while drunk driving two years ago could spend as little as six months behind bars.

A judge sentenced Jayson Abad to 18 months in jail and four years probation, but said 12 months of the sentence will be suspended after Abad completes requirements for his DUI count — such as educational, vocational training.

The sentence outraged the victim’s family.

Azalia Park, 21, was on her way to see the holiday light show at Aloha Stadium in December 2020 when she was struck by Abad ― who was also 21 at the time.

Park died from her injuries.

Abad’s defense attorney, David Fanelli, called the sentence “appropriate” based on the facts of the case.

Supporters of both the Park and Abad families packed the sentencing hearing.

Park’s parents and siblings asked the judge for a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and shared how their lives changed forever after Park’s death.

“His actions destroyed my family,” said Chanda Park, Azalia’s mother.

“You robbed me of my best friend,” said Azalia’s sister, Shayna.

Related Coverage

Fanelli acknowledged their grief but said his client’s blood alcohol level was only slightly above the legal limit at 0.089 and did not contribute to the accident.

Police also said Abad was not speeding and had the right of way.

Abad read a prepared statement, saying “I am deeply sorry for what happened. Because of that night so many people have been hurt, including the one closest to me and especially the people closest to Azalia. I cannot put into words how remorseful I am. I am living with this every day and I can’t imagine the pain her mom feels. Everyday I strive to be better person than I was yesterday. Again, I have to be sorry to everyone I have affected.”

Judge Shirley Kawamura said she was bound by law to sentence only for the offense that Abad was charged with and convicted of.

“He is charged with leaving the scene... he has not been charged with nor convicted of causing Ms. Park’s death. That is a significant difference,” said Kawamura.

“He has not been charged and convicted of that sentencing for negligent homicide, or similar type of offense.”

The judge said she considered several factors, noting Abad’s clean record and that while Abad left the scene, he returned 16 minutes later after realizing he had damage to his car.

Fanelli believes his client’s drinking and driving did not cause the accident.

“She ran into the intersection where she was not supposed to. My client was at the green light. My client had the right away .My client did not commit any traffic infractions. My client has no traffic record,” Fanelli explained.

“This park it’s a terrible, unfortunate tragedy. But in our opinion, it was an accident.”

Emotions ran high after the sentence was announced, with family members and supporters visibly upset and inconsolable.

Family members believe justice was not served

“My sister’s dead. She’s not going to come back to life. This is not an accident and I’m really angry,” said Shayna.

“JaysonBoy Abad will only serve a couple months in prison. I live a lifetime without my sister.”

Abad will serve six months at OCCC. A restitution hearing is set for April 13.