Woman sentenced to 15 days jail for assaulting landlord

LIHU‘E — A Kapa‘a woman was sentenced to 15 days jail and a 2-year probation for a physical confrontation with her landlord and two of his friends last January as he tried to show them a vacant third bedroom.

Michelle Ann Preston, 48, was found guilty by a jury on Aug. 15 of third-degree assault and abuse of family or household member and harassment following a three-day trial in 5th Circuit Court.

Defense counsel James Tagupa said Preston said the jury reached its verdict but asked the judge to consider the circumstances of the scenario that led to the Jan. 27 altercation.

He said Preston was unable to live in the rented bedroom and stayed on a couch. The landlord invited the same people back into the home that she suspected stole her valuables after he agreed that he wouldn’t.

Preston was herself struck in the face, Tagupa added.

County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Gary Nelson said the defendant said she accepts responsibility for her actions but continues to claim self-defense after they jury’s verdict. He requested 30 days in jail and probation because of the crime and a prior record.

The maximum for the misdemeanor charge was a one-year jail sentence and a $2,000 fine.

Judge Kathleen Watanabe said she was concerned that the defendant’s prior record included similar offenses. She said the court had to fashion an appropriate deterrent and sentenced the 15 days jail along with domestic violence classes and other treatment as directed by the probation department.

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


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