CRIME

Hawaii Cop Acquitted In Death Of Teen Pedestrian (UPDATE)

The officer had been charged with negligent homicide after striking the 19-year-old while responding to the scene of an accident.

UPDATE: In April 2017, a jury in Hawaii found Irvin Magayanes, an officer with the Kauai Police Department, not guilty of negligent homicide in the 2015 death of 19-year-old Michael Kocher Jr., according to the Associated Press.

PREVIOUSLY: A Hawaii police officer is facing up to five years in prison for allegedly striking a teenage pedestrian with his patrol car while responding to the scene of an accident earlier this year.

Officer Irvin Magayanes of the Kauai Police Department was arrested last week and charged with one count of second degree negligent homicide, a Class C felony.

The victim, Michael Kocher Jr., 19, was walking along a Kauai highway around 9:30 p.m. on Jan. 4 when he was hit first by a driver in a Toyota Corolla. Magayanes was responding to the scene of that accident when he struck Kocher a second time. 

Magayanes’s police powers have been revoked, according to The Garden Island, and he will appear in court Aug. 25.  

No charges have been filed against the driver who first hit Kocher. 

In a statement Friday, Kauai Police Department Chief Darryl Perry extended his sympathy to the Kocher family, as well as to Magayanes, “whose every intention that night was to assist in an emergency.”

<span>Officer Irvin Magayanes</span>
Officer Irvin Magayanes

Mike Kocher, the victim's father, told The Garden Island newspaper on Friday that he feels for the officer.

“I feel really bad for the little boy. He was 23-years-old and he’s in a really [expletive] predicament,” he said, referring to Magayanes. “Unfortunately … I’m in a [expletive] predicament too.”

Following the incident, family members told KHON2 that Kocher had touched the lives of people around him.

He was always willing to give a smile or a hug,” said his sister, Irene Kocher. 

A reporting project this year by The Guardian newspaper found that Hawaii ranks fifth in the nation for the number of people killed by police on a per capita basis. 

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