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Teen gets 10-year prison sentence in beating death of homeless man, 83

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A teenager accused of fatally beating an 83-year-old homeless man in Chinatown was sentenced in state court Thursday to 10 years in prison.

And because the victim was at least age 60, RJ Marsolo must serve at least three years and four months of his sentence behind bars before he can be eligible for parole. The Hawaii Paroling Authority can set a higher minimum.

Marsolo, 19, had been charged with murder for the December 2013 beating death of Mamerto “Eddie” Semana.

He pleaded guilty to first-degree assault last October in a deal with the prosecutor.

Honolulu police said Marsolo was drinking with friends at Beretania Community Park in the evening on Dec. 3. 

A witness told police Marsolo then went toward College Walk where he encountered Semana, spoke to him briefly then punched Semana in the head. After Semana fell to the ground the witness said Marsolo continued to punch and kick his victim.

It wasn’t until about four hours later, in the early morning of Dec. 4, before anyone had noticed that Semana was injured and called for an ambulance.

Semana went to Queen’s Medical Center in critical condition where he died on Dec. 5.

Through a Chuukese interpreter, Marsolo apologized in court Thursday to Semana’s family. He said he had had too much to drink, that he didn’t intend to kill Semana and that death continues to haunt him.

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