Family, Friends Remember Slain Surfer

By Eric S. Page
|  Tuesday, Jun 1, 2010  |  Updated 9:28 AM PDT
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Family, Friends Remember Slain Surfer

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Emery Kauanui's loved ones are gathering to remember the pro surfer, who was killed in 2007.

Kauanui was attacked by Seth Cravens and members of the so-called Bird Rock Bandits on May 24, 2007. The pro surfer died four days later.

Kauanui's family and friends plan have organized a daylong event at Windansea Beach in La Jolla that will culminate at dusk with a "surfboard candle lighting" ceremony. Organizers are calling it the first annual Memorial Day of Aloha. "We welcome everyone to join our ohana for a day of celebration," a flyer produced for the event states. The event will be hosted by Kink Kukulele and will feature live music; food; wiki wacky ride, ukelele and keiki hula contests; as well as a raffle, with the winner taking home a trip to Hawaii.

A Facebook group page created for the event says there are 257 confirmed guests -- including Emery's mother, Cindy -- with 162 other people stating that they might attend.

Cravens, 23, hit the 24-year-old La Jolla resident with a single punch on Memorial Day 2007, causing him to hit the pavement. Prosecutors said it was murder, and in November 2008, a jury agreed, convicting Cravens of second-degree murder. Cravens was sentenced last February to 20 years to life in prison.

Cravens and four other men -- Orlando Osuna-Wright, Eric House, Matthew Yanke and Hank Hendricks -- were also involved in the incident. Cravens' attorney said at the killer's trial that Cravens was defending himself against an aggressive Kauanui.

In 2008, Yanke, House and Osuna-Wright pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the 2007 beating death. In December 2009, they admitted to Judge John Einhorn that they had violated the terms of their probation, and in January Einhorn sentenced them all to three years in prison for violating probation.

Hendricks pleaded guilty in 2008 to a lesser charge in connection with the case.
 

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