Three men who were members of the so-called Bird Rock Bandits will be heading to prison..
In 2008, La Jolla residents Matthew Yanke, Eric House and Orlando Osuna-Wright pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the 2007 beating death of Emery Kauanui, a 24-year-old professional surfer. In December, they admitted to Judge John Einhorn that they had violated the terms of their probation, and on Friday, Einhorn sentenced them all to three years in prison for violating probation.
When they men originally sentenced for their roles in the slaying, they received what some critics thought were relatively light sentences -- minimal jail time and three years' probation -- with Einhorn cited the fact that they had minimal prior contact with the criminal justice system.
The men's latest troubles began when Osuna and Yanke both tested positive for drug use, and all three violated a stay-away order from the victim's family and an order to not associate with one another, according to the probation department. It's alleged that the men did not turn around and leave when they ran into the victim's former girlfriend at a downtown bar.
A fourth man who was in the Bird Rock Bandits, Seth Cravens, threw the fatal punch during a fight outside Kauanui's house. Cravens was convicted of second-degree murder and is serving a 20-years-to-life sentence. A fifth person, Hank Hendricks entered a guilty plea, in connection to the case as well.