Men involved in shooting to be released from jail – Maui News

May 26, 2022
WAILUKU — Two men involved in a shooting at a homeless gathering place in Kahului were to be released from jail after both were placed on probation Friday for separate crimes.
Manuel Nunes Jr., 39, was sentenced to an 18-month jail term, which he has already served, as part of four years’ probation.
He was arrested after discharging a flare pistol loaded with birdshot that hit Douglas Balinbin in the back at about 4 a.m. Sept. 12, 2019. The shooting occurred on Hoohana Street near the old Kahului Safeway, which at the time was a location where homeless people gathered.
At a preliminary hearing shortly after the shooting, Balinbin testified that he had exchanged words with Nunes and was walking away when he heard a commotion and saw Nunes pointing the gun. Balinbin was shot in the upper back and the back of his head.
Nunes told police he was lowering the pistol, which he had pulled out of a shopping cart he was using, when it discharged.
Originally charged with attempted murder, he had pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of first-degree assault, as well as carrying a loaded firearm on a public highway.
In sentencing Nunes on Friday, 2nd Circuit Judge Kirstin Hamman followed a plea agreement between the defense and prosecution that was reached in hopes that Nunes would receive help while on probation to keep him from ending up in a similar situation.
“It was a pretty vicious crime that could have seriously injured or killed somebody,” Hamman said.
Nunes was ordered to complete anger management treatment as part of his probation. He also was ordered not to consume alcohol or illegal drugs.
Balinbin, 30, also was placed on four years’ probation Friday in another case.
He had pleaded no contest to first-degree unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle and first-degree resisting an order to stop a motor vehicle in connection with his arrest Nov. 9, 2021.
Deputy Public Defender Heather Wolfenbarger said Balinbin had been sober for nearly two years when he relapsed and his probation was revoked.
“He did run away from police when he thought he was being picked up on a warrant,” she said.
Balinbin, who had spent nearly six months in jail, wants to enter the Maui Drug Court program of intensive treatment and supervision, Wolfenbarger said.
“He has since found God,” she said. “He is very strong in his faith.”
Balinbin said he was trying to get his daughter back in his life and wanted to enter Drug Court.
“I need help,” he said. “I just really, really want to do this program.
“My main focus is to better my life to be a better part of this community.”
While following a plea agreement in sentencing Balinbin, Judge Hamman told Balinbin “it’s your last chance.”
She said he has a long criminal history linked to his use of drugs and alcohol.
In a 2017 case, his probation was revoked and he was resentenced to five years’ probation for four counts of felony abuse. He was ordered not to consume alcohol or illegal drugs.
* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at
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