KAILUA-KONA >> A Hawaii man pleaded guilty Monday to fatally shooting another man near a homeless camp on the Big Island and then discarding the body along a highway.
Gafatasi Napoleon, 30, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in connection with the October killing. Murder and several other charges were dropped as part of a plea deal, West Hawaii Today reported.
Napoleon told the judge he loaded shotgun cartridges with rock salt and shot Alanaokala Solomon Covington in the chest.
He said he only meant to hurt the 36-year-old victim, not kill him.
“I expected it to just sting,” Napoleon said. “I didn’t think it’d go through.”
Authorities were acting on an anonymous tip about a possible killing when they found Covington’s body buried under lava rock and dry cement along Highway 190 in North Kona.
A witness testified at an October hearing in the case that he and Napoleon had initially planned to assault Covington.
“I knew we were going to beat the (expletive) out of somebody,” Rex King testified, adding that Napoleon did not seem upset after the incident. “He didn’t panic, he didn’t freak out. But neither did I.”
Napoleon was arrested a week after the killing.
The Kailua-Kona man faces six to eight years in prison when he is sentenced in May.