comscore UH player Gifford pleads no contest to resisting arrest, harassment charges | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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UH player Gifford pleads no contest to resisting arrest, harassment charges


    Ka’aumoana Gifford

University of Hawaii football player Ka‘aumoana Gifford pleaded no contest today to resisting arrest and two harassment charges stemming from an April 12 incident in McCully.

District Court Judge Clarence Pacarro granted a deferral acceptance of the pleas. Pacarro said the case will be expunged and sealed if Gifford does not incur any legal trouble before Nov. 18. Gifford, who was reinstated to the UH football team last week after being suspended from team activities following his April 12 arrest, will be allowed to travel out of state during the probationary period.

Gifford also was ordered to contribute $400 to the state general fund, and $115 to the crime victim compensation fund. The $500 bond he posted will be used to offset the fines.

Prosecutors sought a 30-day jail sentence and one-year probation.

Attorney Paul Cunney argued that Gifford, who did not have a criminal record, deserved leniency after accepting responsibility for the April 12 incident. Gifford was accused of interfering with the arrest of teammate Kennedy Tulimasealii, who was subdued by police officers following a dispute with an ex-girlfriend. Cunney said Gifford had tried to cover Tulimasealii, who was not wearing clothes when he was arrested.

Gifford was charged with resisting arrest, a misdemeanor, and two counts of harassment, both petty misdemeanors.

Cunney said Gifford acted recklessly, but not with intent to harm.

“I’m glad this is all over and behind me,” Gifford said. “Now it’s time for business.”

While suspended from football-related activities, Gifford remained on scholarship and was allowed to attend classes and study hall. As conditions to reinstatement, Gifford, a defensive tackle, must attend two ride-along sessions with police officers and maintain good academic standing in summer school. He was told he would not face further suspension if he abided by those conditions.

In a separate hearing this afternoon, Gifford pleaded no contest to fleeing the scene of a car accident on March 14. Cunney told District Court Judge Linda K.C. Luke that Gifford left when he and the other driver could not reach a financial settlement on the so-called “fender bender.” Gifford’s insurance company paid the $700 damages.

Luke granted Gifford a deferral, with this incident to be expunged if he avoids legal trouble through Nov. 18, shows ample paper work at a restitution hearing on Aug. 10, and meets with a probation officer. Gifford also $305 — $200 to the state general fund, $30 to the crime victim compensation fund, and $75 in probation fees.

A defendant may be granted one deferral in a lifetime. Luke granted Gifford a second deferral because he made a “good-faith effort” to consolidate both hearings.

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