Probation after jail for family abuse

LIHUE — A Hanalei man who has served nearly a year in jail for a family abuse incident was sentenced to probation on Thursday in 5th Circuit Court.

Eugene Lawson Crane, 26, was arrested on two counts of abuse of family or household member on Oct. 3, 2013. He pleaded no contest to an amended misdemeanor first-degree terroristic threatening charge on Aug. 26.

“This was very unfortunate and I wish I could have avoided it,” Crane said of that the night his argument with his significant other went from the bedroom to the balcony.

County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney George White said the victim was not mentioned in all of the discussion on the state of the defendant. The victim will never be the same, he said, with nail marks on the back of her neck from being choked.

When neighbors heard and witnessed what was happening on the balcony, Crane twisted the victim’s neck to keep her from screaming. She managed to climb down the balcony and go for help when Crane returned to the bedroom, where he cut himself.

State Deputy Public Defender Stephanie Sato said Crane is an able young man working two jobs and has come to terms with a depression diagnosis that he had self-medicated with alcohol.

The court granted Sato’s motion for a deferred acceptance of the no-contest plea. It means the charge can be removed from Crane’s criminal record upon successful completion of probation.

“You got yourself into a bad situation and that is why you are here,” said Chief Judge Randal Valenciano.

The court took into account the work Crane did prior to sentencing and the length of time he was incarcerated. He was sentenced to 318 days time served and to four years with HOPE (Hawaii’s Opportunity Probation with Enforcement) for close supervision of high-risk offenders.

Crane was given a no-contact order with the victim.

Crane said he has learned more about himself in this past year and that the only good side to this is that he has got better control of his condition and will get more counseling once his insurance is in place.

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