A state judge sentenced two men this morning to eight-year prison terms for abducting a 17-year-old boy nearly two years ago, handcuffing him and driving around with him in the trunk of their car.
Bladesin-Isaiah Bailey, 21, and Andrew Josiah Rodriguez, 20, were facing mandatory 20-year prison terms for kidnapping.
However, Circuit Judge Karen Ahn imposed the eight-year terms under a provision in state law that allows judges to give sentencing breaks to defendants who are younger than 22 and have no prior felony convictions.
Lawyers for the two men had argued that the defendants handcuffed Ezra Kualaau and put him in the trunk of their car May 15, 2010, because Kualaau kept fighting with them and trying to run away after they confronted him about stealing money from a friend. Bailey and Rodriguez were 19 and 18, respectively, at the time.
Witnesses who saw the defendants put Kualaau in the trunk of a car at Waiau District Park called 911 and gave a description of the car and its license number. Kualaau also called 911 on his cellphone from the trunk of the car.