September 29, 2015
A Circuit Court jury today found Michael Limjuco Abella guilty of manslaughter in the 2014 beating death of Shelton Higa, Prosecuting Attorney Keith M. Kaneshiro announced.
Abella had been charged with second-degree murder. Judge Colette Garibaldi will sentence him to 20 years in prison on December 16.
The jury deliberated for five hours over two days after receiving the case late yesterday.
Higa, 57, was the victim of an unprovoked attack in Chinatown on July 17, 2014. Witnesses said Higa was standing on the corner of Smith and Pauahi streets when Abella approached from behind, struck him on the head with a beer bottle and then left. The same witnesses said Abella later returned and punched Higa several times in the head.
Higa was taken to The Queen’s Medical Center, where he lapsed into a coma with severe bleeding in his brain. He died on July 29, 2014.
Deputy prosecutor Adrian Dhakhwa took the case to trial.