Sometimes, the punishment doesn’t fit the crime.
Such seems to be the case of Kaeden Palmeira. He received far more leniency in what he received for being found guilty of two abuse charges than he showed his victims. We would argue, too much.
First, a little background.
Palmeira was charged with two counts of abuse of a family or household member. He was found guilty of the two abuse charges on Aug. 18, 2015. Two counts of interference with reporting an emergency or crime were dismissed by the state. By December 2015, Palmeira had already served the six months.
Here’s the story behind those charges.
According to prosecutors, Palmeira took his 3-year-old daughter to a beach party at Kikiaola Small Boat Harbor on July 13, 2014.
When Palmeira’s mom and his girlfriend went to the harbor to get the little girl because they were worried about her safety, he became upset and began yelling. His mom tried to intervene. Court records say he pushed her to the ground and began to punch her multiple time in the face and head. Palmeira’s teenage sister tried to call 911, but he grabbed the phone from her and threw it. His girlfriend tried to flee, but court records say Palmeira slapped and punched her in the head and kicked her in the head while she was on the ground.
The injuries to his mother, records say, included a shattered orbital/eye socket which required surgery and a metal plate under her eye. At the time of the incident, she was planning to move the mainland, had quit her job and was not insured. She has about $80,000 in medical bills. His girlfriend sustained swelling to her head.
On Nov. 10, he was sentenced to six months in jail with credit for time served, five years of probation, and ordered to pay $92,000 in restitution, which includes medical fees from injuries sustained by his mother.
Now, we understand people make mistakes, do things they wish they hadn’t done. We are sure that day must be one for Palmeira. But there are consequences for actions, regardless of how sorry we are. In this case, Palmeira received six months in jail. Abuse of family or household member is a class C felony and punishable by up to five years in prison. He agreed to complete child parenting classes and participate in a domestic violence intervention program.
He is also paying restitution to his mom at the rate of $100 a month, which he sought to have reduced to $50, but was denied by the judge. He was back in court after falling behind on his restitution payments. At the rate of $100 a month, that’s $1,200 a year, so it will take him, oh, north of 70 years to make good on that debt. And not sure how it makes sense he is paying restitution of $100 a month. That basically means his victim will never receive full restitution, just to pay the medical bills from this incident. We appreciate the judge denying the request to lower the restitution to $50 a month.
We hope the victims in this case recover and receive the help they need and are able to put this behind them. And we hope Kaeden Palmeira realizes that considering the extent of the physical damage, pain and suffering he caused in this case, he received what some would call a light plea deal. It certainly wasn’t the more severe penalty he could have received. His actions didn’t just affect his life. His actions changed, for worse, the lives of his victims. His mother suffered severe injuries and now has substantial medical bills because she intervened that day and tried to protect her granddaughter. She could have stayed back and likely been safe. But she put herself in danger and suffered for it at the hands of her own son.
Palmeira, who has no prior convictions, has been given a great opportunity at a second chance, to start again and find a new path. We hope he takes advantage of it. We hope he is thankful. We hope he makes amends with his victims. He is fortunate to receive such a chance. Far more fortunate than his victims.