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Man found guilty of assault at Haleakala park

A federal jury yesterday found a 44-year-old man guilty of two counts of assault while camping at Haleakala National Park.

Matthew Berckmann was found guilty of assault with a dangerous weapon and assault of his spouse by strangulation after a four-and-a-half-day trial. Berckmann faces up to 10 years in prison for each count at his sentencing Aug. 6 before U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway.

The incident occurred Oct. 18, 2017, at Hosmer Grove Campground at Haleakala National Park, when Berckmann threatened his wife with a large kitchen knife while pinning her to the ground by holding his forearm against her throat, according to U.S. Attorney Kenji M. Price.

Two eyewitnesses saw the assault and contacted 911. A park ranger took Berckmann into custody, with help from two Maui Police Department officers.

The investigation was led by the National Park Service, with assistance from the FBI and Maui Police Department. Assistant U.S. attorneys Michael Albanese and Marion Percell handled the prosecution.

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