Four young men who pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the beating death of a professional surfer in La Jolla were sentenced Sept. 5 to probation and jail time by a judge who told them to make the rest of their lives matter and honor the victim’s memory.
Orlando Osuna, 23, Eric House, 21, and Matthew Yanke, 22, each pleaded guilty on June 27 to involuntary manslaughter in the death of 24-year-old Emery Kauanui.
Osuna, who also pleaded guilty to three counts of misdemeanor battery for prior assaults, was sentenced to the longest jail term - 349 days.
Judge John Einhorn sentenced both Yanke and House to 210 days behind bars.
Hank Hendricks, also 22, got a 90-day jail term. He pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact.
All of the defendants were immediately taken into custody.
Before they were led away, the judge warned them that if they violated any terms of probation over the next three years, he would not hesitate to send them to prison.
“I’m taking a chance. Don’t disappoint me,” the judge told them.
Outside court, Yanke’s attorney, Kerry Steigerwalt, said, “The judge gave them a tremendous opportunity, each and every one of them.”
The man accused of throwing the punch that killed Kauanui, 22- year-old Seth Cravens, is scheduled to go on trial next month on second-degree murder and other charges.
The defendants got into a fight with Kauanui on May 24, 2007, outside his home following a drink-spilling incident at the nearby La Jolla Brew House.
During the fight, Cravens allegedly punched Kauanui, causing him to fall backward and hit his head. The victim died at a hospital four days later.