REPORT FROM KAUAI COUNTY – LĪHU’E – On Thursday, April 25, 2013, Philip Papagayo, Jr., 23 of Kapaa, was sentenced to concurrent five-year prison terms for firearm, reckless endangering, and terroristic threatening charges arising out of a 2009 incident.
On April 30, 2009, Papagayo, who was 18 at the time, went to Kealia lookout at about 9:30 p.m. and confronted several individuals. An argument ensued and Papagayo told the group he was going home to get a gun and “get you guys.” Papagayo proceeded to drive home to get his father’s 30-06 semiautomatic rifle and returned to Kealia. By that time the group had moved to Kealia Beach near the north end parking lot, where Papagayo then discharged the firearm two to three times. Police stated the victims were visibly shaken and upset.
In late March 2012, a Kaua’i Grand Jury returned an indictment against Papagayo, charging six counts of Terroristic Threatening in the First Degree (class C felonies), two counts of Reckless Endangering in the First Degree (class C felonies), and Unlawful Place to Keep a Loaded Firearm (a class B felony).
The case was set for a November 2012 trial, but the parties agreed before trial that defendant would enter pleas to the firearms charge, and to one count each of Terroristic Threatening in the First Degree and Reckless Endangering in the First Degree. And because Papagayo used a semiautomatic firearm to commit the terroristic threatening and reckless endangering offenses, he was subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison without parole for each class C felony. Due to defendant’s age, he was eligible for youthful offender sentencing on the Class B felony, and received a five year sentence on that charge as well.
The defendant’s sentencing was continued on several occasions, but today sentencing proceeded as scheduled, with the State represented by Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Melinda K. Mendes.
Kauai Prosecuting Attorney Justin F. Kollar stated “Although it’s not immediately clear why this case languished for three years before getting to the grand jury, we are gratified that justice has finally been done. It is unfortunate that such a young man placed himself in the position of spending the next five years in prison, however his actions were extremely dangerous and could have easily led to a far more tragic result. His violent behavior made prison the only appropriate outcome.”