Crime Beat for Tuesday, May 29, 2012

There were several changes of pleas and sentencings last week in 5th Circuit Court. In addition to the case already reported there were many more worth mentioning.

In Chief Judge Randal G. B. Valenciano’s court on Thursday:

Zachary Aukai Schwartz, 23, of Kilauea, entered no contest pleas in two cases; for first-degree assault against a law enforcement officer in the first, and abuse of family or household member and first-degree terroristic threat in the second. His sentencing is set for Aug. 9.

Albert D. Roberts entered a no contest plea to second-degree theft. He waived his right to a pre-sentencing diagnostic report and was immediately sentenced to nine months in jail and five years of probation, along with a drug and alcohol assessment.

Hokulani Aiko Cruz, 32, of Lihu‘e, was sentenced for a charge of abuse of family or household member. Cruz was granted a deferred sentence and after successfully completing a six-month probation could have the charge expunged from the record.

Ronessa Lynn Viquelia, 38, of Kapa‘a, was granted a deferred sentence for a third-degree assault charge.

She will have the charge dropped after successfully completing a one-year probation sentence and an alternative to domestic violence course.

In a second case, Viquelia will have an abuse of family or household member charge dismissed following sentencing on a Family Court matter.

Eric W. M. Rivera was sentenced to three days in jail and five years of probation for charges of third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, drug paraphernalia, and third-degree promotion of a detrimental drug.

Valenciano said the court noted Rivera was doing well with addiction therapy and employment, but denied the motion for deferred acceptance of his guilty plea.

In another case, charges of second-degree methamphetamine, second-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, two counts of drug paraphernalia, and third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug are set to be dismissed.

In Judge Kathleen Watanabe’s Court on Wednesday:

Brandon Ikaika Scribner, 21, of Kalaheo, was re-sentenced to 90 days in jail for second-degree terroristic threat, disorderly conduct, fourth-degree criminal property damage, open lewdness, and a minor in possession of liquor. He was given credit for time served and will run concurrent other charges.

Erwin Lapita Morcillo, 39, of Kalaheo, changed his plea to no contest on charges of reduced second-degree unauthorized entry and fourth-degree theft. He also pleaded no contest on Thursday in two cases in Valenciano’s court.

The charges include second-degree theft and negotiating a worthless instrument in one case, and second-degree terroristic threat in the second. He will be sentenced Sept. 12 on all matters.

Leonard Alpeche Jr., 28, of Kapa‘a, changed his pleas in two cases that reduced charges related to sexual assault and will be sentenced on Wednesday. He pleaded guilty on two counts of third-degree sexual assault and two counts of second-degree extortion. In a separate case he pleaded guilty to five counts of third-degree sexual assault and three counts of extortion.

A full story on the Alpeche case will follow the Wednesday sentencing.

Bronson Lee Balino, 28, of Kalaheo, changed his plea to guilty of third-degree promotion of methamphetamine and first-degree negligent injury. He expressed great remorse to the court for the accident that injured his daughter. He will be sentenced on June 27.

John Das was sentenced in the four cases that he pleaded guilty to last December. The charges included abuse of family or household member, third-degree assault, three counts of third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, three counts of drug paraphernalia, and third-degree promotion of a detrimental drug.

The drug charges included methamphetamine and oxycontin.

Watanabe sentenced Balino to two years of probation and two days in jail. She said he would have gotten more jail time but that his seriousness approach to addiction therapy and strong family support improved his outlook for recovery.

Gilbert P. Bush Jr., 52, of Ele‘ele, received one-year probation for charges of unauthorized entry into a dwelling, attempted first-degree unauthorized entry, first-degree criminal trespass, two counts of second-degree terroristic threat, and first-degree terroristic threat.

He was ordered to take a drug and alcohol assessment and to refrain from any contact with the complainants in the case.

• Tom LaVenture, staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 224) or tlaventure@thegardenisland.com.

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