Say sentencing continued

Sentencing for Byron Say was delayed by roughly two months yesterday, after he changed his mind about whether he wanted probation officers to officially investigate his criminal history.

Say asked for a pre-sentence investigation in court yesterday morning, despite having originally waived his right to one when he pleaded guilty to first-degree promotion of a dangerous drug and possession of drug paraphernalia on April 10.

The charges have the potential to net him up to 50 years in prison.

All criminal defendants facing jail time are entitled to a pre-sentence investigation, dubbed a PSI, which presents the judge with the opportunity to weigh additional factors before determining punishment.

However, to what extent the data within the report is weighed is the sole discretion of Judge Kathleen Watanabe, as is each sentence length, and whether either sentence would run consecutively or concurrently.

The data can include marital, educational and employment history, as well as family history, military record, arrest record and mental-health history.

Whether Say has a substance-abuse problem also could be included in the PSI.

The first of the two drug-related charges against Say dates back to June 2005, when he was found hiding in a taro field, after fleeing a car-accident scene, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Christopher Bridges said. When police found him, he was in possession of a small amount of heroin — deemed for personal use.

Lisa Wilson, who has said she was on the back of a motorcycle the day Say was found in the taro field, was run over with Say’s car before he fled the scene.

Wilson was frustrated yesterday when the sentencing was continued, a sentiment she has been familiar with throughout the judicial process, she said.

“It just seems like they’re wasting more time,” Wilson said. “I just don’t see why they didn’t ask for (the PSI) before, or why they get to ask for it now.”

The second drug-related charge Say faces stems from 33.44 grams of methamphetamine — enough to constitute an intent to sell — that police said they recovered from Say’s fanny pack in March 2006.

Say allegedly had several “eight-balls of ‘ice’” as a passenger in a car Aquila Say, his sister-in-law, was driving, Bridges said.

As part of a combined plea deal, Aquila no longer faces aiding and abetting charges, though Byron was considered “wanted” when he was a passenger in the vehicle she was driving.

Byron’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for 8:30 a.m., June 28 in Circuit Court.


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