Hanamaulu man gets 10 years for kidnapping

LIHUE — A Hanamaulu man was sentenced to 10 years in prison for a kidnapping charge following a revocation of probation hearing on Thursday in 5th Circuit Court.

Edward Soares Jr., 31, had failed to successfully complete the Kauai Drug Court program, a condition of his probation.

Soares did not expect the sentence. He looked back toward his family members, many of whom were in tears.

”I made all my appointments and I did good,” he said to the judge.

State Deputy Public Defender John Calma asked the court to reconsider the sentence.

”I don’t take my decisions lightly, and I know they impact Mr. Soares,” Judge Randal Valenciano said to Calma. “I know that you are advocating for your client and I honor you for that.”

On April 25, 2013, Soares was indicted on charges of fourth-degree theft, first-degree terroristic threat, kidnapping and abuse of family or household member. He allegedly stole $100 in cash from an adult female family or household member while restraining and threatening her with a box cutter.

Soares pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of Class B felony kidnapping on July 29, 2013, and was sentenced to felony probation with one year of jail on Jan. 9, 2014. He was admitted to Drug Court on Feb. 12, 2014, and remained compliant until a motion for termination hearing in October of the same year that was granted on Dec. 17.

County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jennifer Winn said the state was asking for the open prison term. She said that having failed Drug Court, the defendant could not be expected to comply with the even more stringent terms of HOPE (Hawaii’s Opportunity Probation with Enforcement) for close supervision of high-risk offenders.

Calma asked the court to consider probation given the unusual circumstances that led to the defendant’s termination from drug court. He said Soares was attending a first-day group meeting with fellow clients of an inpatient treatment facility on Oahu, when he did not state or testify to being an addict.

The staff took that to mean Soares was not ready for treatment and was the sole reason for his dismissal from the program, Calma said. Without the financial resources and an exhausted health insurance, Soares was not able to attend a dual diagnosis program that was more appropriate for his condition.

Other than that, Soares was employed full time, attending addiction meetings and doing very well on probation, Calma said. Regardless, the court denied the defense’s motion to continue the revocation hearing until a new pre-sentencing diagnostic report could be completed.

Soares will get credit for time already served in the case.

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