Road rage suspect Mark Char faces life in prison with the possibility of parole after a state jury today found him guilty of attempted murder and assault.
Char’s attorney, Keith Shigetomi, said he and his client were shocked by the verdict, and he vowed to file a motion for a new trial. He said the prosecution failed to find his client guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Char, 60, was accused of attempted murder for stabbing the driver of another car, Jesther Marlang, on Aug. 1, 2016; for assaulting Marlang’s passenger, Deion Anunciacion; and for assaulting motorist Jene Winn, who tried to break up what was happening on the freeway’s center median in Waipahu.
The jury found Char guilty of second-degree attempted murder, second-degree assault and third-degree assault for reckless bodily injury. The second-degree attempted murder conviction calls for life in prison with parole, while second-degree assault is up to five years in prison and the third-degree assault is for a maximum of one year in jail.
“Come sentencing on June 18 of this year, Mr. Char will be looking at going to prison for the rest of his life,” said Kyle Dowd, deputy prosecuting attorney. “Obviously, the fight about when he eventually gets out will be in front of the parole board.”
The incident occurred two years ago during afternoon rush-hour traffic in the westbound lanes of the H-1 freeway near the Kunia offramp. The brawl left three men cut, bitten and bleeding as cars drove by.
During the trial a handful of victims and witnesses testified for the prosecution that Char was the aggressor. He used a knife and pepper spray in the brawl and bit two of Marlang’s fingers so violently that blood got in his face.
Char, the only one to testify on his behalf, said he was only defending himself following some aggressive freeway driving in which drivers exchanged “brake-checks.”