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2 get life behind bars for brutal beating of Big Island security guard

Wesley Samoa, Lama Lauvao, and Natisha Tautalatasi
Source: Hawaii News Now

Kona, HAWAII — The two people found guilty earlier this year in the brutal beating of a Big Island security guard have been sentenced to life behind bars with the possibility of parole.

Kona Circuit Judge Melvin Fujino sentenced Natisha Tautalatasi and Wesley Samoa on Thursday.

A third defendant, Lama Lauvao, received 10 years in prison.

The three were caught on security cameras last year brutally beating John Kanui, who was a security guard at the Kona Seaside Hotel.

Kanui is now a quadriplegic, and has a brain injury.

A jury found Samoa and Tautalatasi guilty of second-degree attempted murder, while Lauvao was found guilty of assault in the first degree.

“Today, all three of you can still walk on your own,” said Judge Fujino. “All three of you can still eat on your own. And all three of you can still teach your children and talk to them. Mr. Kanui cannot do any of this on his own because of your actions on September 17, 2018.”

Jennifer Farrell, the victim’s daughter, said the family is pleased each defendant received the maximum sentence.

“My life changed the day I thought my dad was going to die,” she said. “I was scared that I would never get to talk to him again.”

She said images of the attack still haunt her.

When it was the defendants turn to speak, each apologized to Kanui’s family and asked for forgiveness.

“To the family, I’m very sorry and I accept full responsibility for my actions,” said Samoa. “Sorry for the pain and hurt.”

Samoa’s mother dropped to her knees, begging the judge to give her son -- who is a father of 6 -- a lighter sentence.

“Have mercy. Have mercy. I don’t want to see my son with life in prison,” cried Eliza Samoa.

Read more at Hawaii News Now