Man sentences himself to five years

  • courtesy of Kauai Police Department

    Kyle Neuberger

LIHUE — A Kapaa man facing six months in jail told a judge he wanted the full five-year sentence. He got it.

Kyle Neuberger pleaded no contest to a felony charge earlier this year, a month after he broke into a home in Wailua.

His original charge — first-degree burglary, a class B felony that carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail — was reduced to a less-serious offense, and prosecutors recommended he serve only six months, plus four years probation, according to court documents.

That all changed Thursday morning, when he appeared in court for sentencing. Before Fifth Circuit Judge Randal Valenciano handed down the sentence, he allowed one of Neuberger’s victims to testify.

A woman who lived in the home stood before the judge and told her story of what happened on the night of March 2, when she returned home with her granddaughter, who opened their garage door and saw a large man running out of the house toward the beach.

“I’m here for Kyle, who broke into our family’s home,” said the woman, whose name is being withheld at her request. “I believe he needs some type of rehabilitation.”

The woman went on to explain that her children went to high school with Neuberger and had seen him around town for years afterward, watching as he slowly devolved from a star athlete in high school to a middle-aged man with increasingly obvious problems.

“I understand he was a very good baseball player,” she said.

An archived post on the University of Hawaii at Hilo’s athletics website references a “dominating pitching performance by Kyle Neuberger” that allowed the UH baseball team to win the second game of a doubleheader in April 2005.

The home intrusion traumatized the family, according to the woman, who told the judge she no longer feels safe on the property and said her granddaughter now has to attend weekly therapy sessions.

Still, the woman did not appear to be in court seeking revenge. She stopped just short of asking Valenciano to be lenient on Neuberger, who stood quietly, looking down at the table in front of him while she spoke.

“We want to make sure he gets help,” she concluded. “I don’t want to see him on the streets anymore. And that’s the end of the story.”

The woman finished talking and went back to her seat near the back of the courtroom, and Judge Valenciano turned to Neuberger, asking whether he would like to make a statement on his own behalf before sentencing.

Neuberger leaned over and muttered something inaudible in the ear of his attorney, Deputy Public Defender Stephanie Char. When Valenciano asked for a clarification, Neuberger spoke up.

“I just want the five,” he said. Char tried to shut him up, but Neuberger was insistent.

“I’m sorry for what I did. I didn’t intend to stay in the residence,” he continued. “I was kind of out of my mind. I believe I deserve the five-year term.”

Char scrambled to save her client from himself and asked the judge to call another case so she could talk things over with Neuberger before he did any more damage.

“Do you want to talk to her?” Valenciano asked Neuberger, who shook his head.

“Nah. I’m good. I understand,” he replied. “I’ve been thinking about this for months.”

Char sighed. Her arms dropped to her sides.

“On behalf of Mr. Neuberger, I request the open five-year term,” she said.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Anthony Herndon, who five minutes before had been ready to read a prepared statement that ended with a request for a six-month sentence, shrugged his shoulders, set his papers down and asked the judge for five years in jail.

Valenciano gave everyone what they asked for.

“Good luck, Mr. Neuberger,” he said.

Later, in the hall, the woman sat alone, visibly shaken by what had happened.

“I didn’t come here today to do that,” she said.

  1. LMat August 9, 2019 9:30 am Reply

    Sounds like he just wanted free room and board, at taxpayer’s expense. And judge handed it over.

    1. Watevahz August 11, 2019 2:45 am Reply

      I knew would have one comment about tax payer money being wasted.
      The same people grumbling about wasted tax dallors would grumble if he was only given six months.. SMH WAT-EVAHZ some people are satisfied. Get off your high horse.

      1. LMat August 12, 2019 9:43 am Reply

        Hoi, five fkn years in jail and what kind “help” is he gonna get in there…? Yet they let pedos and rapists go with a slap on the wrist. K. The original sentence OBVIOUSLY was more fitting. I rather my tax monies go to programs that help rehabilitate losers like this, not feed and house them for five years and then release them so they can repeat offend. You think coddling guys like this going make them change…?
        And high horse…? Lol. Why, cause I get one job and pay taxes and vote…?

  2. tunataxi August 10, 2019 11:49 am Reply

    I know someone who’s family member has been in and out of court for a year or so. Every time they get set free they create trouble for the family. Third time out recently but the courts just keep setting them free. These people need psychological help. Leave them in the jail to be rehabilitated

  3. Fern August 11, 2019 9:29 am Reply

    Heartbreaking. I would say he is so remorseful and knows that 6 months in jail wont help him be clean. He doesn’t want to risk getting out and being back in the same situation. Heartbreaking.

  4. HelpThePoorGuy March 19, 2020 11:37 am Reply

    The judge should have demonstrated the wisdom to put this man in a program rather than just give him the five years, where he will come out more dangerous than when he went in.

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