Ki’ilau takes open sentence for burglary charge

Lance Ki’ilau, Jr., 19, was sentenced Thursday in Fifth Circuit Court to burglary in the first degree and theft in the fourth degree, refusing to take a plea agreement from the prosecutor’s office that may have given him a lesser prison term.

Ki’ilau acted against public defender Edmund Acoba’s advice by asking Fifth Circuit Judge Clifford L. Nakea to be sentenced right away.

“I no mo’ nothin’ out there,” Ki’ilau said as part of his reason for waiving a pre-sentencing investigation. A PSI includes a statement to his probation officer, allowing the judge more insight into what kind of person the defendant is and what type of sentencing would be appropriate, Nakea told Ki’ilau.

The plea agreement would have reduced the burglary charge from a class B to a class C felony, punishable by a maximum of five years instead of 10. The agreement also dropped the theft charge and recommended five years probation.

Ki’ilau, with no prior felony convictions as an adult, might have been eligible for a reduced term of four years under “youthful offender” status.

On May 22, Ki’ilau entered a Lihu’e home on Puaole Street and entered a bedroom of the house. An occupant heard the break-in and gave chase into a nearby neighborhood, where he heard Ki’ilau trying to start a car. The man called police and later discovered that a five-gallon container used to store loose change was broken into.

Nakea asked Ki’ilau whether five years imprisonment would be better than probation; Kiilau said he thought he might be able to learn something in jail.

“I know if I go back out on the street, I know I going mess up again,” Ki’ilau said. Ki’ilau was sentenced to a term of five years incarceration.

Michael A. Caughey, serving a term of probation for food stamp and welfare fraud, was granted a motion for early termination of probation.

Brian Andrew Pate, 36, of Kapa’a, arrested Sept. 2, faced a motion from the state to forfeit bond, but Pate was in court both Tuesday and Thursday. Pate has been charged with three various counts relating to drugs and drug paraphernalia.

Timothy Patrick Jeffrey has three cases against him, with charges related to drugs, drug paraphernalia and weapons. Jeffrey’s attorney, Mark Zenger, asked for a bail study to be done, which will determine the correct amount. His next appearance will be Sept. 19.

Gabriel Lee Greeson appeared to see if Nakea would grant a deferred acceptance of guilty plea.

Greeson was convicted of breaking into a business, entering a separate room of the building and stealing checks from the middle of the book. He went to a bank and wrote a check for $4,500 but was only allowed to get $500 cash. He went to a different branch and tried to get the rest of the money. Greeson went to the bank whose name was printed on the checks and tried to withdraw more than $900.

“I know what I did was wrong. I can only imagine what it’s like to have your life and personal things taken from you,” Greeson said. He said he accepted the fact that he may miss the birth of his first child (due in October) if sentenced to a prison term.

Greeson began crying freely as he stood next to his public defender Edmund Acoba, with his girlfriend soon shedding tears from the back of the courtroom.

Acoba reiterated that Greeson felt great remorse for what he had done and asked for a term of probation if not the deferred acceptance of guilty plea. Acoba said that Greeson was going through a difficult time and didn’t have a support system and was trying to survive on Kaua’i after getting estranged from his girlfriend, with whom he is now expecting a baby.

Prosecutor Craig De Costa disagreed with the request for deferred acceptance, which would remove charges from Greeson’s record after complying with certain conditions. He had completed a term of probation in Georgia just a few months before arriving on Kaua’i.

De Costa noted that Greeson had multiple opportunities to stop the crimes and wouldn’t have continued if he really was just trying to survive.

Nakea said he agreed with the prosecutor, and sentenced Greeson to six months incarceration followed by five years probation, restitution of $494 and fees to the crime victims’ compensation fund and probation services totaling $450.

Staff Writer Kendyce Manguchei can be reached at kmanguchei@pulitzer.net or 245-3681 (ext. 252).

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