Man gets jail term for role in fatal hunting accident
April 20, 2009
WAILUKU - More than three years after a Molokai man was fatally
shot during a hunting expedition in a remote area, a man was taken
into custody Friday to serve a one-year jail term for illegally
possessing a rifle he used that day.
Phillip "Kamaki" Solatorio, 38, also was placed on five years'
probation as part of the sentence imposed by 2nd Circuit Judge
"Nothing I do today will satisfy anybody sitting here," Bissen
said, as Solatorio's family as well as family members of the late
Juanito Pico Jr. filled the courtroom gallery. "I can tell how hard
it must be to relive all of this one more time."
Although there was inconclusive forensic evidence, Deputy
Prosecutor Mark Simonds said a police investigation indicated that
Solatorio's 14-year-old son fired the shot that accidentally killed
But Solatorio played a part in what happened with his "cavalier
attitude," Simonds said.
"He set a very poor example," Simonds said. "He made choices that
contributed to this death. He's a convicted felon. He has no qualms
about handling a firearm that day. He trespasses on private land to
Solatorio had pleaded no contest to being a felon in possession
of a firearm on Nov. 30, 2005. That day, Solatorio went with his
son, Pico and two others to hunt in the Waikane area on the south
side of Molokai. The five had traveled by boat to hunt axis deer
without permission on Molokai Ranch property.
Shortly after 2 p.m., police received a call from Solatorio, who
used his cellular telephone to report the shooting. Simonds said
Solatorio told a 911 dispatcher: "I don't know what happened. I
think he fell down. He shot himself or something. He's shot in the
Solatorio later told a police sergeant that Pico and his nephew
were the only ones with guns, Simonds said, although police
eventually recovered four rifles that had been hidden after the
Solatorio lied, apparently in an attempt to protect his son, but
was later confronted with others' statements, Simonds said.
Police concluded Pico was shot accidentally when the boy fired
into a herd of deer.
In court Friday afternoon, family members displayed a lei-draped
photo of Pico, a 41-year-old Kualapuu resident and father of four.
Of the statements that Solatorio gave to police, Bissen said the
one that stood out was Solatorio "almost bragging" that he had been
on hundreds of "missions," each time making contingency plans to
change clothing and hide rifles and game if they were caught.
Bissen said one letter described Solatorio as a reckless and
wasteful hunter and someone with no empathy for others.
According to court records, Solatorio has convictions for
attempted second-degree assault, first-degree reckless endangering
and keeping a firearm in an improper place in a 1990 case. After an
attempted second-degree murder charge was reduced to first-degree
reckless endangering and a terroristic threatening charge was
dismissed, Solatorio was sentenced to 30 days in jail and 200 hours
of community service as part of five years' probation, court records
He also has a conviction for possession of a deadly weapon, a
reduced charge, for a 1994 incident involving a rifle, according to