Search: Emery Kauanui

Emery Kauanui’s Family Remembers

by The Editors on May 31, 2010

Kauanui002-1Three years ago (May 24, 2007) the San Diego, California surf community was rocked when Emery Kauanui died after a fight with Seth Cravens a reported member of the Bird Rock Bandits.

Now, according to a story in the San Diego Union-Tribune Kauanui is being remember with a “day of Aloha” today at Windansea Beach.

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.

Our thoughts continue to be with the Kauanui family. Click here for full coverage of the event in the La Jolla Light.

[Link: San Diego Union-Tribune and La Jolla Light]

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Emery Kauanui’s Girlfriend Honored

by The Editors on May 4, 2009

Jennifer Grosso, 24, the girlfriend of La Jolla surfer Emery Kauanui who died after a fight with a group known as The Bird Rock Bandits was presented with a Citizens of Courage award by the San Diego District Attorney’s office last Friday for her work as a key witness in the trial of those responsible for Kauanui’s death, according to a story in the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Grosso testified against Seth Cravens, who was accused of delivering the fatal punch. Facing him in court, Grosso spoke of trying to stop the fight, but to no avail. She described seeing Kauanui fall to the ground and hearing the crack of his skull against the pavement. . . .Last year, a Superior Court jury convicted Cravens, 23, of second-degree murder and other charges. In February he was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison. . . .“I don’t consider myself to be different than anyone else,” Grosso said in a video played yesterday for a large audience of lawyers, victim advocates and local government representatives. “I think that in a situation I reacted, and I protected someone I loved.”

[Link: San Diego Union-Tribune]


Kauanui Files Suit Against Bird Rock Bandits

by The Editors on April 3, 2009

Emery Kauanui Sr., the father of a 24-year-old surfer who died after fighting with a group known as the Bird Rock Bandits, has filed suit against the attackers and the bar they were drinking in, according to a story in the San Diego Union-Tribune.

In the suit, Emery Kauanui Sr. accuses the men of battery and wrongful death, stemming from the May 2007 death of his 24-year-old son, Emery Jr. The father also points a finger at the La Jolla Brew House, which he claims served alcohol to “obviously intoxicated” minors. Kauanui, who lives in Hawaii, is seeking unspecified damages. . . .Named in the lawsuit are Seth Cravens, 23; Eric House, 21; Orlando Osuna, 23; Matthew Yanke, 22; and Henri “Hank” Hendricks, 23.

Kauaniu’s mother, Cynthia Kauanui filed a similar suit last July, according to the story.

[Link: San Diego Union-Tribune]

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Kauanui Sues Birdrock Bandits And Their Parents

by The Editors on July 22, 2008

Cynthia Kauanui, the mother of slain 24-year-old surfer Emery Kauanui, has filed suit against the five men accused of his death. Not only that, she is suing several of the parents as well for what she calls “parental malpractice” according to a story on

The wrongful death suit filed in San Diego Superior Court alleges that Seth Cravens, Orlando Osuna, Matthew Yanke, Eric House, Henri Hendricks and the parents of the five boys are responsible for the Kauanui’s death.

Attorneys for Cindy Kauanui allege in the suit that the parents of Cravens, Yanke, Osuna and House failed to control their children’s violent behavior. The suit accused the parents of “parental malpractice.” . . . “These kids would go out on weekends to find people to brutalize. Despite complaints to their parents, juvenile arrests, and blood on their children’s hands, their parents did nothing,” said Craig McClellan of The McClellan Law Firm.

We only hope for the best for Ms. Kauanui.



Seth Cravens’ Life Sentence Stands

by The Editors on February 1, 2012

On Monday, January 30, 2012 the California Supreme Court upheld the 2009 second-degree murder charges against alleged Bird Rock Bandit leader Seth Cravens after a appellate court had reduced the charge to “involuntary manslaughter” according to a story in the UT San Diego.

The high court’s 6-1 ruling means the life sentence will stand. . . “The Court of Appeal not only failed to acknowledge that the fatal blow here was a sucker punch (or that it was inflicted with enough force to knock Kauanui unconscious before he even hit the pavement), but failed as well to grapple with the evidence tending to show (Cravens’) pattern of using sucker punches to his advantage,” wrote Associate Justice Marvin R. Baxter in the court’s majority opinion.

This apparently means that Cravens will be in prison for life for the death of 24-year-old La Jolla surfer Emery Kauanui. For the background on this terrible story click here.

[Link: UT San Diego]


Three More Bird Rock Bandits Going To Prison

by The Editors on January 22, 2010

 Images 11867210 Bg1Three Bird Rock Bandits who were convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the 2007 death of La Jolla surfer Emery Kauanui are not going to jail for violating their parole, according to a story on

Eric House, 22, Orlando Osuna Wright, 24, and Matthew Yanke, 23, were sentenced for testing positive for marijuana and being in each other’s company. . . House, Osuna and Yanke had served jail time in the death of Emery Kauanui.

Now they’re going back to prison for three years. You’d think they’d be figuring things out by now.

[Link: 760 KFMB]


Bird Rock Bandits Back In Jail

by The Editors on December 21, 2009

For all it’s beautiful homes and sunny beaches, La Jolla is a pretty rough town if you’re one of the Bird Rock Bandits. Orlando Wright, Matthew Yanke, and Eric House all served time in County Jail for the beating death of pro surfer Emery Kauanui and now they could be going back to jail for more, according to a story in the San Diego Union-Tribune.

County Chief Probation Officer Mack Jenkins said yesterday that the three men are accused of having contact with each other in violation of their probation terms. In addition, Yanke and Wright, who now goes by his stepfather’s surname, tested positive for drugs after their arrests. . . Jenkins would not specify which drugs, but Kerry Steigerwalt, Yanke’s attorney, said his client’s test “showed marijuana consumption.”

All three were arrested last week and are in jail without bail. They are scheduled to appear in court this week.

[Link: San Diego Union-Tribune]


Birdrock Bandit Gets 20 To Life

by The Editors on February 2, 2009

Seth-Cravens280 T180Birdrock Bandit Seth Cravens got a heavy dose of what it’s like to be a tough guy today when a San Diego judge sentenced him to 20 years to life in prison for the for the beating death of surfer Emery Kauanui, 24.

Before the sentence was handed down Cravens, seated and dressed in green jail-issued clothing, turned to the packed courtroom and apologized. . . . “I just want to say sorry to Emery’s family. I’m so sorry that this happened. Sorry for your loss,” he said. “I do pray that you find some kind of peace and comfort. I’m sorry for my own family . . . everybody that had to go through this with me. I’m really sorry.”

Click here for all the stories relating to the Kauanui murder case.

[Link: San Diego Union-Tribune]


Bird Rock Bandit Becomes Jail Bird

by The Editors on November 18, 2008

081118Cravens380Today, a San Diego, California jury convicted Seth Cravens, 22, of second degree murder in the death of professional surfer Emery Kauanui. The Bird Rock Bandit could face 15 years to life in prison.

These verdicts send a strong message to the community that brutality will not be tolerated” although they “will never replace the life that has been taken,” San Diego County prosecutor Sophia Roach said outside court.

Cravens was also convicted on four counts of “assualt with a deadly weapon, one count of misdemeanor battery and one count of making a criminal threat.”

[Link: San Diego Union Tribune and San Francisco Chronicle]


Bird Rock Bandit Trial Is On

by The Editors on October 27, 2008

Seth Cravens, 22, the Bird Rock Bandit who allegedly delivered the punch that resulted in the death of pro-surfer Emery Kauanui is on trial in San Diego, California beginning today, October 27, 2008.

Cravens, 22, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of 24-year-old Emery Kauanui, who was killed May 24, 2007. . . . Cravens is also charged with making a criminal threat, battery and assault causing great bodily injury stemming from unrelated attacks between 2005 and 2007.

According to 10 News the trial is scheduled to last three to four weeks.

[Link: 10 News]