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Man sentenced to 10 years for fatal punch in 2007

A state judge sentenced Less Schnabel Jr. to 10 years in prison this morning for killing a North Carolina man with a single punch at a Nanakuli beach park in 2007.

The 10-year prison term is the maximum penalty for first-degree assault.

Schnabel, 27, pleaded guilty to the charge in January in a plea agreement with the prosecutor. He also agreed to spend at least eight years of the sentence behind bars before being eligible for parole.

The Hawaii Paroling Authority can set a higher minimum term.

This was Schnabel’s second conviction for the death of Christopher Reuther, 34, who came to Hawaii from North Carolina for an orientation visit at the University of Hawaii’s William S. Richardson School of Law. Schnabel was sentenced to a 20-year prison term in 2008 after a state jury found him guilty of manslaughter.

The Hawaii Supreme Court overturned the conviction last year because of comments the prosecutor made to the jurors during the trial’s closing arguments and because the trial judge allowed the prosecutor to present evidence from Schnabel’s juvenile criminal record to the jurors.

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