POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Aug 31, 2013
MISSOULA, Mont. >> A man from Hawaii has been sentenced in a case in which five roommates allegedly conspired to rob a Missoula convenience store to help pay their rent.
District Judge John Larson sentenced Ikaika Kamaka, 20, to two years of intensive supervision for his role in the Jan. 8 robbery.
Prosecutors alleged Kamaka went into the store to purchase tea and ensure the cash register would open before three other men entered the store.
The clerk, Patrick Bendig, had bought the tea for Kamaka, a regular customer, prosecutors said.
Bendig, who suffered a skull fracture that was repaired with a titanium plate, argued that Kamaka should receive the most severe punishment for not making the choice to stop the robbery.
Kamaka said he tried to persuade the others not to rob the store but feared being kicked out of the apartment and not having a place to live.
Kamaka will be on parole and will have to wear a GPS tracking device.
Kamaka, who is from Hawaii, said he and his brother, Devon, were living with co-defendants Ture-Adon Thibodeaux, Andrew Badger and Cruz Bernardi for about a month before the robbery.
Thibodeaux pleaded guilty to assault with a weapon and conspiracy to commit robbery and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Bernardi, who said he was the lookout and supplied the baseball bats, was given a five-year suspended sentence.
Devon Kamaka pleaded not guilty to aggravated assault and conspiracy to commit robbery and is set to go to trial Sept. 16.
Badger was charged with conspiracy to commit robbery and assault. He has a status hearing Sept. 17.