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Brandon Reis gets life in prison for attempted murder of man pinned by own car while attempting to flee

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Brandon Reis appears during sentencing today in state Circuit Court.

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David Van Acker, left, prosecuting attorney, and Joseph Mottl, defense attorney, stand at a hearing today in Circuit Court. Brandon Reis sits next to his attorney before sentencing.

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Brandon Reis, after being sentenced to life in prison today in Circuit Court, smiles before leaving court.

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Brandon Reis speaks with Joseph Mottl, his attorney, today in Circuit Court.

A state judge sentenced Brandon Reis to life in prison Thursday for what the prosecutor described as about as callous and brazen an offense that can be committed.

A state jury found Reis, 36, guilty last November of the attempted murder of Kyen Knowles in a parking lot on Waterhouse Street in Kalihi.

The jurors saw security video from a nearby business showing Knowles drive his car into a parking stall; Reis walk toward him from across the parking lot pointing a handgun; Knowles reverse his car in an apparent attempt to get away and step out of the vehicle while it is still in gear. The open driver door knocks Knowles down and the front tire pins him to the ground.

The video shows Reis look at the pinned Knowles, then jog off.

Police recovered one shell casing at the scene. But the shot didn’t hit Knowles or his car. Knowles, 36, died June 22, 2016, of asphyxia.

Defense lawyer Joseph Mottl told Circuit Judge Karen Nakasone on Thursday that Reis regrets what happened and had no intention to kill anyone.

Reis apologized to the court, police and anyone else and asked for forgiveness. He told court staff who interviewed him before his sentencing that he had gotten into an argument with Knowles while having breakfast at a nearby fast food restaurant.

Deputy Prosecutor David Van Acker said there is no evidence indicating that the two men knew each other before then.

The life prison term Nakasone handed down is mandatory for attempted murder. The Hawaii Paroling Authority will decide when Reis will be eligible for parole. Nakasone did not impose a minimum because although the recovery of the shell casing suggests that Reis used a semi-automatic firearm when shooting at Knowles, police did not recover the weapon.

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