LIHUE — A man who was originally charged with six felonies after police found drugs in a home he was visiting was sentenced to one week in jail after he pleaded down to a misdemeanor.
Jaime Malama, 49, appeared before Fifth Circuit Court Chief Judge Randal Valenciano this week to change his plea from guilty to no contest after accepting a plea agreement from the state for six class C felonies.
On March 13, 2014, Jaime Malama and his co-defendant Glenn Ayau were together at Ayau’s home when police executed a search warrant on house, defense attorney Gregory Meyers told the court.
Police recovered a backpack from the garage where Malama was eating that contained crystal methamphetamine and paraphernalia. Police believed that backpack belonged to Malama and arrested him. Prosecutors later charged him and Ayau with 18 drug charges.
“Items were found in a bag that police believed belonged to Mr. Malama,” Meyers said. “He didn’t have it in his possession. Mr. Malama wants to move forward. He took responsibility.”
Malama is a construction worker and has had that job for one year, Meyers told the court. Malama no longer lives in the westside where the incident took place more than 2 years ago.
The state agreed to dismiss five of the six charges and reduce one of the charges from a class C felony to a misdemeanor, promoting a harmful drug in the fourth degree.
Promoting a harmful drug in the fourth degree is punishable by a maximum of one year in jail and a $2,000 fine.
Malama was originally charged with six class C felonies, including three counts of promoting a dangerous drug in the third degree and three counts of drug paraphernalia.
The state recommended that Malama be sentenced to 21 days of jail and no probation.
Valenciano told Malama that he would like to help him spare his job, so he would sentence him to one week in jail and give him one year probation.
The co-defendant on the case and the man Malama used to be associated with, Ayau, was sentenced on two of the 12 counts, including promoting a dangerous drug in the second degree and drug paraphernalia, class B and class C felonies, respectively to six months in jail and four years of Hawaii’s Opportunity Probation with Enforcement.
The other charges were dropped, including one class B felony, six class C felonies and two misdemeanors.