Drinking is no excuse for break-in

LIHU‘E — A Westside man was sentenced in 5th Circuit Court for an attempted break-in of a house he mistook for his own during a drinking binge.

Eleazar Hernandez, 48, of Kekaha, pleaded guilty Thursday to attempted first-degree criminal trespass and second-degree terroristic threatening. The misdemeanor charges carried a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $2,000 fine.

The incident occurred on March 3 when Hernandez was reported to have been drinking with co-workers and then walked home alone. He reportedly made a one-block error in direction and attempted to break into a home he believed to be his own.

When the owner confronted Hernandez, he is said to have made a threat and that he would return. He was arrested a short time later.

In his statement to the court, Hernandez apologized for his actions. He said that “from the bottom of my heart” he is not a violent person, but that he would leave it to the judge to decide.

“I would like to say that I am sorry,” Hernandez said with the aid of Mindy Emmonds, a Spanish interpreter.

Deputy Public Defender Christian Enright said the company has held the final paycheck for Hernandez as a plane ticket back home to the Mainland. He said the company has since dismissed the others in the drinking party.

County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Rebecca Vogt said the facts of the case are not in dispute, and the charge was reduced to a misdemeanor because Hernandez was confused in his statements at the time. She wanted sentencing to ensure the cost of a broken window lever was included.

After hearing statements from the attorneys and the defendant, Chief Judge Randal Valenciano said that Hernandez should be aware that drinking is not an excuse. He said people are still responsible for their actions when under the influence.

The judge sentenced Hernandez to the 23 days of time he served since his arrest. He ordered $12 in restitution and a $55 crime victim compensation fee for each of the two charges.

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