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Judge denies early release for firefighter in H-1 crash that killed officer

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  • COURTESY HPD / JAN. 2012

    Scott Frederick Ebert, 45, left, of Mililani and HPD Officer Garret Davis, 28.

A Circuit judge denied a motion for early release today for a driver sentenced to prison in connection with the death of a 28-year-old Honolulu police officer killed in a 2012 crash on the H-1 freeway.

Scott Frederick Ebert, of Mililani, was sentenced to one year in prison in August after a state jury found him guilty of misdemeanor negligent homicide in the death of Garret Davis. The term is the maximum penalty for the offense.

At today’s hearing, Judge Colette Garibaldi said the sentence reflects the seriousness of the offense.

During the hearing, Ebert’s attorney Emmanuel Tipon said Ebert has been a model inmate at the federal detention center where he serves as a teacher for a group of inmates in the general education diploma program. He is also part of a Bible study group.

A federal firefighter and Air Force reservist, Tipon sought a reduced sentence because of an upcoming Air Force administrative separation hearing Ebert wanted to be present for, where the board is to address whether he can continue to serve as a reservist.

Tipon said Ebert’s young daughter also has experienced behavioral problems due to Ebert’s absence.

In 2012, Davis, a police officer of the Wahiawa Police Station, parked his patrol car behind a stalled vehicle in the left lane on the H-1 freeway to assist the two occupants.

Ebert was traveling at least 80 miles per hour in a full-sized pickup truck when he struck Davis’ patrol car.

Witnesses testified in court that Ebert was running late to catch a flight on the mainland for Air Force Reserve training.

After today’s hearing, deputy prosecutor Adrian Dhakhwa said the one-year prison term is “more than fair.”

“To ask that the sentence be cut short after four months, I think it was really a slap in the face, really disrespectful to the victim’s family,” he said.

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      • 60+ miles per hour on our very narrow freeway roads is insane, but this afternoon, with clearly visible signs indicating a 55mph on the airport viaduct, GARBAGE TRUCKS AND DUMP TRUCKS WERE SPEEDING PAST ME AND I WAS DOING ALMOST 60 BEFORE SLOWING DOWN. One dump truck (Kalaheo Trucking) was doing at least 70 when he passed me heading Ewa bound. That same company had a 4 by 8 fly out of the back and hit a friend’s windshield.

    • Just something the prosecutor says to make themselves feel good about the sentence. There’s nothing that can be done now. Obviously the loss of life in this case was only worthy of a misdemeanor charge and conviction. I’m surprised the judge didn’t let him out early due to his “model behavior” behind bars. After all it was just an “accident” and the killer needs to get on with his life because that’s the most important thing right now.

      • According to the article, the one year sentence is the maximum allowed, so I really don’t think it’s something that the Prosecutor’s Office said to make them fell better. Rather, it’s what the law allows. As for the rest of your comment, I hope you’re joking.

        • As far as I know it’s the prosecutor’s office that decides what the charges will be. So when they decided on a misdemeanor charge they knew it would be one year maximum. Granted I don’t know all the details of the case but one year seems like an awfully short time to spend behind bars for killing someone. As for the rest of my comment, yes, I’m joking. I know you can’t always be sure on the internet.

        • IRT Morimoto. I totally agree with you that one year is not enough. Also, I believe you’re right in saying the prosecutor’s office determines what the charges are. Just wondering that maybe there wasn’t enough evidence to prosecute for anything else and therefore the lesser charge was more of a guarantee they would win the case.

        • Derick, I’m pretty sure in the opinion of the prosecutor’s office the misdemeanor charge was the charge most worth pursuing and I’m sure they’re in a better position to judge than I am, but it just galls me that someone who killed someone else due to their negligence would only spend a year behind bars. A year is better than nothing but the prosecutor shouldn’t even hint that it was anywhere near enough. Another thing is that there are other states where certain vehicle fatalities can result in murder charges but you never see that happening here. It adds to the perception that the justice system here is weak and doesn’t take into account the severity of the crime.

        • They charged the misdemeanor – negligent homicide because they couldn’t prove the State of mind, or show that he wanted to kill the officer intentionally, beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

          Because the truth is, when he was driving the car, he didn’t honestly did not intend to kill anybody. Unfortunately, by speeding and losing control of his vehicle, he ended up killing the officer.

    • How about 5 years probation….???? “Retired Honolulu police major was sentenced in Circuit Court to five years of probation in the death of a jogger in Mililani last year.” –

  • “Tipon said Ebert’s young daughter also has experienced behavioral problems due to Ebert’s absence.”
    Runs in the family. that’s why her daddy is in prison….behavior problems.
    Thank you Judge Colette Garibaldi.

      • It could have been a learning experience for his young daughter if he had taken responsibility for his actions and explained to his daughter that actions and behaviors have consequences. He appears to be trying to make himself and his family as victims of the tragedy he caused. Shameful!

  • Do you remember this, from the SA article about HPD’s final salute to Officer Garret Davis:

    “As the procession neared, HPD dispatch did a final roll call.

    “Command Console calling Officer Garret Davis,” a dispatcher said.

    “1200 calling Command Console,” Maj. Moana Heu, Davis’ patrol district commander, replied. “Have Officer Davis make a 10-1 and show him SA to the man upstairs. From our hands to yours.””

      • There is a policy, unfortunately this is a dangerous job and officers die. It doesn’t help that they have to do thier jobs when surrounded by idiots who think they are more important than any other human, and that 80+ mph in traffic is ok. To bad one year is the max, they could give this guy.

      • NB, it’s sad for you how you can take a respectful tribute to Officer Davis, and twist your inner thoughts around to being mean about the person giving the tribute (Maj.Heu).

  • “To ask that the sentence be cut short after four months, I think it was really a slap in the face, really disrespectful to the victim’s family.” Ebert is a soul less lover of himself. It’s me, me, me…my daughter, my meeting, my reservist job, my need to be let out of his already short sentence. If he was such a model citizen he wouldn’t be speeding down the highway because he didn’t manage his time and was late. He wouldn’t have killed a police officer, father, and son. Ebert, serve every second of your sentence, don’t weasel out of your already ridiculously short sentence. Did you even every apologize to the family for killing the officer?

  • As I remember it, the late officer Davis also had a young child who now has no father. Ebert may be the best prisoner who ever lived, but his careless actions took the life of a first responder who was trying to help someone else. Now, both families will Iive with the consequences of his terrible decision to speed and drive recklessly.

  • Reducing the value of a man’s life to ONE year is laughably inadequate and an insult. Then he has the audacity to request early release? This shows extreme contempt for Officer Davis’ life. Model inmate? Ebert hasn’t even spent enough time in the joint to get in trouble! Granted, there have been negative repercussions due to his incarceration, but these are the consequences that Ebert has to face. After all, it was he who set this all in motion when he chose to operate his vehicle with indifference to the consequences of his actions. Man up, Ebert! You have NO idea how lucky you are!

  • What is the hell is wrong with our society when a criminal takes a life and gets only one year in prison. Eighty miles-an-hour is a criminal offense which should be a felony, not a misdemeanor.

  • This guy tries to get out early for good behavior? We as (federal) tax payers just paid officer Davis’s family a settlement of $2 million dollars because of this person. Sentence should have been longer and reimbursement of his negligence should be paid back!

  • This idiot wants an early release from his light sentence is JUST PURE NONSENSE & RIDICULOUS. He’s lucky he was only charged with a misdeameanor and his attorney should have explained that to him..All of this B.S. about him being a model inmate blah…blah…blah…is just a facade to make himself look good and , oh, his poor dtr. suffering depression from his being away…..yes, I feel sorry for her but Ebert is responsible and nobody else…Like I said, he got off TOO EASY and should have been sentenced at least 5 years or more……..

  • A tragedy all around–very sad. Thank goodness for a judge who has the good sense to expect the full sentence to be served despite the sad circumstances. Even though Ebert has been a model prisoner, it is a disappointment that he would ask for his sentence to be cut short. Itt’s an indication that he has no compassion for the victim’s family nor that he can acknowledge the seriousness of what he did.

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