Mall vandal pleads no contest

LIHUE — A Lihue woman accused of smashing doors and windows at Kukui Grove Center last December, was in 5th Circuit Court on Tuesday to plead no contest to a felony charge.

Patricia Lewis, 32, pleaded no contest to second-degree criminal property damage. A term of the agreement says that she will serve a minimum one year and eight months incarceration before eligible for parole.

County Second Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Rebecca Vogt said the minimum sentence amount was in part for a prior conviction in Virginia. The court will have discretion on sentencing without argument from the state, however, according to statements in court.

Lewis allegedly used a baseball bat to smash an ATM machine, a glass door, and a window of Kukui Grove businesses while the mall was still open on Dec. 19, 2012. She was confronted by police and arrested without injury to herself or others.

The plea was for the $1,500 in damage to the American Savings Bank ATM machine, according to Vogt.

The state agreed to dismiss felony and misdemeanor criminal property damage, and attempted property damage charges that could have led to a maximum of 10 years in prison.

“I do not want this case to go to trial,” is what Lewis said to the judge when asked why she was entering the no contest change of plea.

This was the first appearance in court by Lewis since she was ordered to the Hawaii State Hospital at a March 18 hearing. After refusing to attend court hearings, officials at Kauai Community Correctional Center had already transferred her to Oahu Correctional Center with concerns about appropriate care for her condition.

• Tom LaVenture, staff writer, can be reached at 245-0424 or by emailing tlaventure@thegardenisland.com.

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