Tomanu E. Tauala is behind bars for killing 19-year-old Nehlia-Ann Scanlan following a verbal altercation outside a bar in Honolulu, Hawaii.
In the early hours of Aug. 7, 2021, Tauala got into an argument with a group of people outside of the Imua Lounge bar on Keeaumoku Street, according to the Samoa News.
Tauala, who was reportedly 29 years old at the time, got into her SUV and drove toward the crowd, running over Scanlan and a then-31-year-old woman in the parking lot.
Both women were pinned underneath the vehicle.
Firefighters with the Honolulu Fire Department were called to the scene, where they had to use the jaws of life to lift the vehicle off of the victims.
Scanlan, the mother of a then-3-year-old boy, was rushed to the emergency room of an area hospital, where she was listed in critical condition.
She died from her injuries the following day.
The second victim was also taken to the hospital with serious injuries, but she survived.
Tauala was arrested at a parking lot nearby and booked into the county jail, where she was held on a $300,000 bond. She was charged with one count of attempted second-degree murder.
Following Scanlan’s death, the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney announced that Tauala’s charges would be amended to second-degree murder pending the medical examiner’s investigation.
Tauala was later indicted on those charges by an Oahu grand jury.
On Aug. 30, 2022, Tauala admitted to recklessly killing Scanlan, and she also pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of one count of manslaughter.
The following year, in January 2023, Tauala was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
“I am very pleased with Judge Souza’s sentence in this case. What started as a fistfight between two people turned into a deadly situation due to Tauala’s actions.”Prosecuting Attorney Steve Alm
“And Honolulu’s streets will now be safe from her dangerous behavior,” Alm continued. “Although nothing can bring back Nehlia Scanlan, I hope that this sentence brings some comfort and closure to her family.”