Kauaians change pleas for weapons charges

LIHU’E — Two Kaua’i residents changed their pleas of not guilty in recent court actions.

A Hanalei resident pleaded no contest to reduced charges in a case that involves having an illegal automatic assault rifle in a national wildlife refuge.

Michael Olanolan, 55, was originally charged in April on a grand-jury indictment with having an unloaded AR-15 rifle, and with having an illegal ammunition clip.

On Nov. 15, he pleaded no contest before Fifth Circuit Court Chief Judge George Masuoka to having the illegal clip, in exchange that two other charges, for having the illegal rifle and for taking the weapon to the Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge, both be dropped “with prejudice.”

“With prejudice” means that lawyers in the county Office of the Prosecuting Attorney cannot take Olanolan back to court on the same charges.

Additionally, according to the plea agreement, lawyers in the prosecuting attorney’s office will not recommend incarceration when Olanolan is sentenced in January.

Olanolan faces a maximum of one year in prison and $2,000 in fines.

However, the judge is not required to follow any deal or agreement made between attorneys in the prosecutor’s office and Olanolan.

County Prosecutor Craig De Costa said that the rifle and the magazine seized in the case will be forfeited.

If the court overrules the plea agreement, and if Olanolan is convicted on all three charges, he could face a maximum of 11 years in prison and a maximum fine of $22,000.

According to court records, Olanolan was at the refuge on Feb. 20 when he was caught with the rifle and the clip that carried more than 10 rounds.

In May, he pleaded not guilty to the charges.

A jury trial in Olanolan’s case was scheduled to begin on Monday, Dec. 19.

In other court action, a 19-year-old Lawa’i resident changed his plea from not guilty to guilty in a case that involves felonious terroristic threatening with a pellet gun.

William Silva pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree terroristic threatening before Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Watanabe.

He was originally charged with two counts of first-degree terroristic threatening in June.

Watanabe did not accept the plea, and ordered a presentencing investigation (PSI) be done.

According to state law, a PSI may be done when a defendant is less than 22 years old, and when felony charges are involved.

A PSI may also include examination of the defendant’s history of delinquency or criminality, physical and mental condition, family situation and background, economic status, and ability to make restitution to the victim or victims of the defendant’s crimes.

Watanabe will take the results of the PSI into consideration when she sentences Silva on Feb. 2, 2006.

Silva could face up to five years in prison, and a maximum of $10,000 in fines. He originally faced up to 10 years in prison, and $20,000 in fines.

According to county Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jennifer Winn, Silva was a passenger in a car in January when he waved a pellet gun at someone in another car.

According to court records, Silva intentionally terrorized two people with bodily injury with the pellet gun.


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