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Man who jumped out of car on freeway in Pearl City identified

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 05:15 p.m. HST, Feb 06, 2013

The Medical Examiner’s office has identified the 33-year-old Ewa Beach man, who jumped out a moving car Jan. 31 on the H-1 Freeway near the Waipahu offramp and was run over and killed by a passing car, as Keala Leong.

Leong was with a group of men who tried to break into a cabin at the Waianae Army Recreation Center in June 1998. Army helicopter pilot John Latchum Jr. was shot in the heart with a .22 caliber rifle. Latchum was on vacation with his wife and their two children.

Leong pled guilty to attempted burglary in exchange for prosecutors dropping a murder charge. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Two other men were convicted of murder. A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in July 2003 reversed the murder convictions on a 2-1 vote, saying U.S. District Judge Helen Gillmor made a mistake in not allowing the defense to introduce the possibility that someone else fired the shot that killed Latchum. Their sentences were later reduced to 25 years under a sentencing agreement rather than life without parole.

Police are looking for the driver of the car that hit the Leong and did not stop, following the 9:45 p.m. accident. The incident occurred as the car, driven by a woman, was traveling west on the H-1 Freeway. Leong died at the scene.

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allie wrote:
Live by the sword, die by the sword. Even the inept Helen Gillmore could not bungle the job this time.
on February 6,2013 | 08:41AM
What goes around, comes around (Karma). The other 3 should have been kept at life imprisonment. Not fair for the Latchum family. Christ, they were on vacation with their children. The laws was meant to protect the guilty, is how it looks.
on February 6,2013 | 08:43AM
primo1 wrote:
Justice is served...
on February 6,2013 | 08:56AM
Carang_da_buggahz wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on February 6,2013 | 09:09AM
false wrote:
Justice for all. HPD looking for the driver of the car that hit him?
on February 6,2013 | 09:23AM
Sunny wrote:
Probably not looking very hard!
on February 6,2013 | 09:31AM
808warriorfan wrote:
Let's hope not.....
on February 6,2013 | 03:41PM
HAJAA1 wrote:
Wow I actually felt bad until I read the article.
on February 6,2013 | 10:07AM
cojef wrote:
Seems that Leong could no longer live with demons in his head or the demons caused him to take the easy way out by suicide. The irony of the event spawned another criminal to emerge, the hit-and-run driver. Seems like there are no winners, only losers.
on February 6,2013 | 10:15AM
hikine wrote:
Justice is served
on February 6,2013 | 10:39AM
stanmanley wrote:
The driver of the other car resembled someone with a black hood and a sickle in the back seat. He goes by the name of Mr. Reaper.
on February 6,2013 | 11:04AM
false wrote:
I'm sure whoever ran him over DID NOT KNOW what he ran over. Who jumps out of a car on the freeway ?
on February 6,2013 | 11:10AM
silvangold wrote:
so then WHY was this convicted person with his wife driving around in the car? If he was sentenced to 10 years in prison for pleading to a lesser charge, he'd be alive ! ???? ! yes? check story in this days' article.................
on February 6,2013 | 11:59AM
silvangold wrote:
WOW......sent for approval by saying something somebody else said right in the below comments! good job SA!
on February 6,2013 | 12:17PM
ponowai wrote:
The thing that worries me is the amount of drivers that don't stop. To me, the reason someone doesn't stop is he or she has something illegal to hide or is driving under the influence. How many drivers like that are on the roads? HPD can't catch them all. In this case banging that guy wasn't the drivers fault so why not stop?
on February 6,2013 | 01:32PM
Rickyboy wrote:
What if it were you?.
on February 7,2013 | 09:29AM
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