The homeless man who was found guilty of assault in connection with the death last June of Hawaii sports broadcaster John Noland apologized to Noland’s daughter in state court Wednesday.
“I’m sorry. I’m sorry for this to happen. It wasn’t supposed to happen like this. I’m so sorry,” Mark A. Coleman said at his sentencing.
Alana Noland told Coleman, “I came here (today) to tell you, just like I told my father just before he took his last breath, that I forgive you. From the bottom of my heart, I forgive you.”
Coleman, 59, went on trial last month for manslaughter. A circuit court jury found Coleman guilty instead of second-degree assault for recklessly causing Noland serious bodily injury.
Circuit Judge Faauuga Tootoo denied Coleman’s request for probation and sentenced him to the maximum five years in prison. Coleman was on probation for a 2016 drug conviction at the time of his confrontation with Noland in Chinatown. Tootoo re-sentenced Coleman Wednesday to four years in prison in the drug case.
Coleman has prior drug, robbery, burglary and parole violation convictions in California and Michigan.
John Noland, 60, died June 15 when he was taken off life support six days after the back of his head hit a Maunakea Street sidewalk. Honolulu Chief Medical Examiner Christopher Happy testified last month that the blunt force injury to Noland’s head, by itself, wasn’t enough to cause death. He said heart disease and obesity contributed to Noland’s death, and that acute alcohol intoxication and probable acute cocaine intoxication were other factors.
Coleman testified at trial that Noland was trying to pull his backpack off his shoulder when he fell backward.
Security video from the entrance to a nearby building shows Coleman fall on top of Noland, throw a punch to Noland’s head, get up and retrieve his baseball cap and items that had fallen out of Noland’s hand.
Coleman said Noland had grabbed $7 out of his hand and was trying to take his backpack.
Deputy Prosecutor Oksana Vincent told the jury that Coleman saw that Noland was intoxicated and took the opportunity to rob him.