Five years prison for thefts

LIHUE — A Kapaa man convicted of felony drug and theft charges was sentenced to five years in prison on Wednesday in 5th Circuit Court.

Christopher Kai Bessert, 40, thanked his state public defender and apologized for his actions to the court. He asked for one last chance at probation, saying he has matured and was ready to make changes in his life.

“If not, I am prepared to accept you send my way,” Bessert said to the court.

Bessert was sentenced in three cases. In one matter, he had a methamphetamine possession charge, and second-degree theft charges in the other two cases.

Judge Kathleen Watanabe said she sympathized with the sincerity of Bessert’s remarks but said the court had to put public safety first. The defendant has accumulated 24 convictions in nearly 20 years, with two open prison terms and has failed at parole and probation opportunities.

“There is just too much criminal history here and too many people that were hurt. The court has an obligation to protect the safety of the community.” Watanabe said.

County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney George White said the methamphetamine charge occurred when police discovered the drug and paraphernalia in Bessert’s pocket while making an arrest on another charge.

The thefts involved a kayak that was stolen from a neighbor. Bessert had performed work for the victim and then stole and sold it for $150. 

The second theft involved a stolen wallet in Walmart.

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