Burglaries net 10 years in prison

A Wainiha man who had pled guilty to three felony charges stemming from two separate Hanalei burglaries over the past two years received the maximum sentence allowed.

Ray Kuna Harada, 36, was sentenced to 10 years in prison by 5th Circuit Judge Randal Valenciano yesterday.

On Jan. 24, Harada pled guilty to felony burglary and theft charges in connection with an April 2007 event in which he entered a Hanalei home garage and removed a lawn mower, a surfboard and other items, according to county Prosecuting Attorney Craig De Costa.

As part of that agreement, Harada pled guilty on Feb. 26 to a separate felony burglary charge that originated with a May 2006 event in which he entered a different Hanalei home garage and removed fishing nets, a weedeater and stereo speakers.

According to De Costa, the original case had fallen apart when a key witness declined to testify after Harada’s November 2006 arrest, and prosecutors refiled charges only after Harada’s later crimes.

Harada received five-year prison sentences for each of the three charges, and could have spent as much as 15 years behind bars.

Instead, Valenciano ordered the sentences from the 2007 event to run concurrently, with the sentence from the 2006 burglary to run consecutive to the first two.

Harada has had problems with the law in the past.

“He had two felony convictions in 1997 and numerous other arrests,” De Costa said.

The convictions, for two separate 1995 thefts, earned Harada a pair of five-year prison terms that were to run concurrently.

• Michael Levine, staff writer, can be reached via e-mail at mlevine@kauaipubco.com

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