Man gets 18 months

LIHUE — A Hanamaulu man was sentenced to 18 months jail with probation for weapons and abuse charges on Wednesday in 5th Circuit Court.

Jason Kekoa Padilla, 33, was placed on HOPE (Hawaii’s Opportunity Probation with Enforcement) for close supervision of high-risk offenders for a B felony charge of firearms possession. He will serve 18 months jail first, the maximum amount allowable with the probation.

Padilla was also sentenced to a four-year probation with one-year jail for methamphetamine possession. A third charge of abuse of family or household member brought a  two-year term of probation with six months jail and a domestic violence intervention class.

Judge Kathleen Watanabe ordered all sentences to run concurrently. She granted credit for 165 days time already served awaiting trial.

Watanabe said physically abusing a girlfriend on Sept. 3, 2014 was one crime. Padilla committed another by abusing her in the presence of her one-year child.

“If you have plans to be reunited then I don’t want you to forget about the harm that you have caused,” Watanabe said.

Court-appointed defense attorney Warren Perry said the upside is Padilla has performed well on past probation. The downside, he added, is that Padilla is standing before the court again as a convicted felon who was in possession of firearms and drugs.

Perry said he asked Padilla why he would want to possess a handgun on Kauai. The reply, Perry added, was that gang members wanted to recruit Padilla and were not pleased when he said no.

The intent was for protection, and although possession of the firearm is a crime in and of itself, Padilla was not carrying it in order to commit other crimes, Perry said. The defense asked the court for probation and up to 18 months jail.

“My client has has finally got it in his head to stop this drug use once and for all,” Perry said.

In his statement to the court, Padilla said he stands accountable for what he did and only wanted to apologize to his family for the trouble he brought on them.

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