Joshua Leiataua, a resident of Waianae, Hawaii, has been sentenced to over 11 years in prison for robbery and attempted carjacking. On April 5, 2020, Leiataua entered a mini mart in Waipahu, brandished a firearm, and demanded money from the cashier. Unable to open the register, Leiataua stole cartons of cigarettes and other items at gunpoint. One month later, on May 13, 2020, Leiataua and Shanice Faalogo attempted to steal a vehicle from two individuals in Waianae. Leiataua approached the male victim, brandished a firearm, and demanded the vehicle. Faalogo discharged the firearm in the air, and Leiataua forcefully removed the female victim from the vehicle. Their escape was thwarted by a dead vehicle battery, and they fled the scene. U.S. District Judge Helen Gillmor stated that Leiataua’s criminal conduct and history indicate a lack of respect for the law. Leiataua’s accomplice, Shanice Faalogo, has pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing. This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, an evidence-based program that strives to reduce violent crime through comprehensive solutions and targeting the most violent offenders. The case was investigated by the Honolulu Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara D. Ayabe.
Waianae Man Sentenced to Over 11 Years in Prison for Robbery and Attempted Carjacking
In a recent case that has garnered attention in the Waianae community, a local man has been sentenced to more than 11 years in prison for his involvement in a robbery and attempted carjacking. These crimes, which occurred in separate incidents, have left residents concerned about their safety and the prevalence of such criminal activity in the area. The case has been closely followed by law enforcement agencies and the community, highlighting the importance of justice and safety in this tight-knit neighborhood.
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Department of Justice Overview
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To read the official news release regarding the sentencing of the Waianae man, please find it here.
Summary of the Case
The sentencing of the Waianae man was handed down by Judge Helen Gillmor in the recent court proceedings. The judge deemed the crimes committed by the individual to be highly concerning due to their violent nature and the use of firearms. The details of the crimes shed light on the severity of the situation and the potential harm inflicted on the victims.
Sentence Imposed by Judge
After careful consideration of the evidence presented in court, Judge Helen Gillmor imposed a sentence of 137 months imprisonment for robbery and attempted carjacking. The judge also added an additional sentence of 120 months imprisonment for possessing ammunition as a felon. The consecutive sentences reflect the severity of the crimes committed by the defendant and serve as a deterrent for future criminal activity.
Details of the Crimes
The crimes in question took place on two separate occasions in different locations within the Waianae community. The first incident involved a robbery at a mini-mart in Waipahu on April 5, 2020. The defendant, Joshua Leiataua, entered the mini-mart and brandished a firearm at the cashier, demanding money. When unable to open the cash register, Leiataua proceeded to steal cartons of cigarettes and other items at gunpoint.
The second incident occurred on May 13, 2020, when Leiataua, along with Shanice Faalogo, attempted to carjack a vehicle from two individuals in Waianae. Leiataua approached the male victim who was standing outside the vehicle, brandishing a firearm and demanding the vehicle. Faalogo then took the firearm from Leiataua and discharged it in the air towards the male victim. Leiataua forcibly removed the female victim from the vehicle by her hair. However, their escape was foiled as they discovered the vehicle’s battery was dead, forcing them to flee the scene.
The crimes committed by Joshua Leiataua involve robbery and attempted carjacking, both of which are serious offenses in the eyes of the law. These crimes threaten the safety and well-being of individuals and can have lasting impacts on the victims and the community.
In the first incident, Leiataua committed a violent robbery at a mini-mart in Waipahu. He brandished a firearm and demanded money from the cashier. When his initial demand was not met, he resorted to stealing other items at gunpoint. The use of force and threat of violence make robbery a grave offense that merits serious legal consequences.
Leiataua’s involvement in the attempted carjacking in Waianae demonstrates a brazen disregard for the rights and safety of others. Alongside Shanice Faalogo, he attempted to steal a vehicle at gunpoint from two individuals. This violent act not only endangered the lives of the victims but also inflicted psychological and emotional trauma. Attempted carjacking is a serious offense that can have far-reaching consequences for all parties involved.
Incident 1: Robbery in Waipahu
Date of the Incident
The robbery at the mini-mart in Waipahu occurred on April 5, 2020.
Description of the Incident
In this incident, Joshua Leiataua entered the mini-mart and confronted the cashier with a firearm. He demanded money from the cashier, but when the cashier was unable to open the cash register, Leiataua resorted to stealing cartons of cigarettes and other items at gunpoint.
Incident 2: Attempted Carjacking in Waianae
Date of the Incident
The attempted carjacking took place on May 13, 2020, in Waianae.
Description of the Incident
During this incident, Joshua Leiataua and Shanice Faalogo attempted to steal a vehicle from two individuals. Leiataua confronted the male victim, brandishing a firearm and demanding the vehicle. Faalogo then took the firearm from Leiataua and discharged it in the direction of the male victim. Leiataua forcibly removed the female victim from the vehicle by her hair. Ultimately, their plan was thwarted by the vehicle’s dead battery, forcing them to flee the scene.
Actions of the Perpetrators
In the attempted carjacking, both Joshua Leiataua and Shanice Faalogo played significant roles. Leiataua initially approached the male victim, brandishing a firearm and demanding the vehicle. Faalogo then intervened by taking the firearm from Leiataua and firing it. Leiataua himself forcefully removed the female victim from the vehicle. These actions highlight the calculated nature of their criminal intent and the potential harm they were willing to inflict.
Outcome of the Incident
The attempted carjacking did not go according to plan for Joshua Leiataua and Shanice Faalogo. Upon discovering that the vehicle’s battery was dead, they were unable to complete their escape. Forced to abandon their takeover attempt, the two perpetrators fled the scene. Fortunately, the victims escaped further harm as a result of the dead battery and were able to report the incident to law enforcement.
The judge’s remarks during the sentencing proceedings shed light on the severity of Joshua Leiataua’s criminal conduct and the weight of the sentence imposed.
Senior U.S. District Judge Helen Gillmor noted that Leiataua’s crimes, which involved “violence and firearms,” demonstrated a clear lack of respect for the law. The judge highlighted the seriousness of the offenses committed and the potential harm inflicted on the victims.
Length of the Sentence
Joshua Leiataua was sentenced to 137 months imprisonment for the charges related to robbery and attempted carjacking. In addition to this sentence, he was also given an additional 120 months imprisonment for possessing ammunition as a felon. The consecutive sentences reflect the gravity of the crimes and serve as a deterrent for future criminal activity.
The 137-month sentence for robbery and attempted carjacking will be served concurrently with the 120-month sentence for possessing ammunition as a felon. This means that Joshua Leiataua will serve both sentences at the same time rather than one after the other.
Previous Criminal History
The sentencing was also influenced by Joshua Leiataua’s criminal history. Although specific details of his previous offenses are not provided, the judge took into account his past record, which likely contributed to the severity of the sentence imposed.
Involvement of Others
The case involving Joshua Leiataua and his crimes also revealed the involvement of another individual, Shanice Faalogo. The extent of Faalogo’s participation and her subsequent legal proceedings shed light on the collaborative efforts of law enforcement agencies in addressing criminal activity.
Co-Perpetrator’s Plea and Sentencing
Shanice Faalogo, who was involved in the attempted carjacking alongside Joshua Leiataua, has pleaded guilty to her role in the crime. She is currently awaiting sentencing. The separate legal proceedings regarding Faalogo demonstrate the commitment of law enforcement to hold all responsible parties accountable for their actions.
Project Safe Neighborhoods
The sentencing of Joshua Leiataua serves as a reminder of the importance of community safety and the need for collaborative efforts to address violent crime. Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is a vital program that aims to reduce violent crime in communities across the nation.
Project Safe Neighborhoods is an evidence-based program that has proven effective in reducing violent crime. Within this program, various stakeholders collaborate to identify and address the most pressing violent crime problems in the community. By implementing comprehensive solutions, PSN focuses on the most violent offenders and collaborates with local prevention and reentry programs.
PSN brings together law enforcement agencies, community organizations, and other stakeholders to tackle violent crime collectively. The program emphasizes a collaborative approach, recognizing that a sustained reduction in crime requires a multi-faceted strategy that involves multiple layers of prevention, enforcement, and support.
Enforcement and Prevention Strategies
One of the main focuses of Project Safe Neighborhoods is targeted enforcement efforts against the most violent offenders. By prioritizing the apprehension and prosecution of those responsible for violent crimes, PSN aims to make communities safer by removing dangerous individuals from the streets. At the same time, the program also emphasizes prevention strategies to address the root causes of crime and reduce the risk factors that contribute to violence.
The sentencing of Joshua Leiataua to over 11 years in prison for his involvement in robbery and attempted carjacking sends a strong message about the seriousness of these offenses. The crimes committed by Leiataua not only endangered the lives and well-being of the victims but also disrupted the sense of safety and security in the Waianae community. The justice system’s swift and decisive action in this case highlights its commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of residents.
Moving forward, it is crucial to continue efforts in crime reduction, prevention, and community engagement. Programs like Project Safe Neighborhoods provide a framework for collaborative efforts that involve multiple stakeholders working together to address the root causes of crime and foster safer communities. By focusing on both enforcement and prevention strategies, communities can strive for lasting reductions in crime and work towards a future where incidents like the ones involving Joshua Leiataua and his co-perpetrator become less frequent.