Drug and theft sentencings

LIHU‘E — There were three sentencings in 5th Circuit Court on Wednesday.

Judge Kathleen N. A. Watanabe had a full calendar as Chief Judge Randal Valenciano presided over Drug Court and a trial.

Watanabe granted Guy Ohara’s motion to defer acceptance of his guilty plea he entered on Feb. 13 to one count of third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug. The plea deal dropped a duplicate count, along with paraphernalia and detrimental drug charges. If he can successfully complete a five-year probation, the charges will not be entered into his permanent record.

State Deputy Public Defender Christian Enright presented Ohara as someone who had dabbled with crystal methamphetamine use. He said the arrest and a nearly two-month jail stay through October and November helped curtail more trouble.

Ohara has since given up the drug and his jail time inspired him to return to his former commercial fishing trade, Enright said.

Second Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Samuel Jajich said the state recommended probation and 30 days for previous misdemeanor convictions and contempt of court charges. He did not object to the deferment motion.

Watanabe ordered 45 days in jail along with one year probation.

Hilari K. Kalani received a year in jail and five years probation for third-degree theft. She changed her plea to the reduced charge on Feb. 13, and the state dropped a first-degree burglary charge.

Defense attorney Warren Perry said that its not uncommon for defendants to get the benefit of the doubt, and to get a break in the hopes that a little jail or probation will help people change. He said Kalani is just 20 and has had a rough life.

Perry asked for one last “bite at the apple” before sending the young woman to the Department of Corrections. He said that despite a poor track record on probation, this would send a message that court programs, services and leniency may not be there again with another court appearance.

Second Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Samuel Jajich said there was no request for restitution and that the state recommended 20 days in jail with a year probation.

Watanabe listened to Kalani tell of how she found herself with a necklace that no one seemed to want to claim. She said 15 days in jail has taught her a lot and that she didn’t want to end up there again.

The judge said that her years in family court taught her that the decision to send youth to juvenile detention was a difficult one. It was with the understanding that they would learn to become law-abiding adults before the consequences became more severe, she said.

Watanabe ordered the state’s recommendation for sentencing.

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