Prem, Namuo could get 20 years

LIHU’E — A pair of Kapa’a women indicted on drug offenses pleaded guilty to reduced charges on Monday, the day their jury trial was scheduled to begin.

Sunday-Lee Namuo and Marilyn Prem pleaded guilty before Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Watanabe to having more than one ounce of crystal methamphetamine, or ice. The felony offense carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years and $50,000 in fines.

According to county Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Rosa Flores, Namuo was caught shoplifting at WalMart on Dec. 19, 2004, and had ice in her purse. Prem attempted to take more than 44 grams of ice from Namuo’s purse.

Watanabe accepted their guilty pleas, and ordered presentencing investigations (PSI) to be done. She will take the results of the investigations into consideration when sentencing takes place March 2, she said.

Under state law, a judge may order a PSI to find out information about the defendant’s history of delinquency or criminality, physical and mental condition, family situation and background, economic status, education, occupation, and personal habits.

Such information is not likely to be fully explored in an adversarial proceeding designed to decide the issue of guilt.

Namuo and Prem pleaded guilty in exchange for other charges being dropped.

Namuo and Prem were indicted in March by a Kaua’i grand jury. According to the three-page indictment, Namuo was originally charged with fourth-degree theft, two counts of first-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, and with two counts of having drug paraphernalia.

Namuo was also charged with having two .25-caliber bullets when she was already under another indictment for allegedly selling drugs.

According to the indictment, Prem was originally charged with one count of first-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, two counts of having drug paraphernalia, and with third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug.

If convicted on all counts, Namuo would have faced a maximum of 55 years and 30 days in prison. Prem would have faced a maximum of 35 years in prison.

Namuo, 35, and Prem, 38, both of Kapa’a, were arrested in April. Namuo is free after posting bail of $41,000 bail.

Prem is free after posting $20,000 bail.

Both women have other drug cases pending against them.

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