Man fails to deliver engine he sold, nets a year in jail

WAILUKU – A 42-year-old Hilo man was sentenced Thursday to a year in jail for posting an online advertisement for a car engine and failing to deliver it to a customer who had paid for it.

In accordance with a plea agreement, 2nd Circuit Judge Joseph Cardoza also ordered Richard P. Benevides to pay $495 in restitution and to write a letter of apology to the victim, a Kahului resident.

“I really apologize to that person. I’ll pay him back when I get out of jail,” Benevides said.

He explained that because he didn’t have a driver’s license, he wasn’t allowed at the harbor docks. He had his son deliver the engine to be shipped to Maui. Instead, the engine was shipped elsewhere, and Benevides said he lost the customer’s phone number.

Benevides said he wasn’t making excuses for himself, but that he was taking responsibility because he posted the ad to sell the engine.

Deputy Prosecutor Justine Hura said Benevides put the ad on Craigslist. A person in Kahului wired the money to Benevides on July 26, 2011, but he never got the engine.

Benevides was in custody Thursday for other matters pending in Hilo.

He pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of third-degree theft.

In a separate matter, 39-year-old Billie Jo Ige, formerly of Hana, was sentenced to four years’ probation and 77 days in jail for having crystal methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia in her vehicle during a traffic stop last year.

Cardoza followed a plea agreement in Ige’s sentencing and credited her for the 77 days she served in jail. Ige, who was out of custody Thursday, was ordered to undergo drug treatment as part of her sentencing.

Ige said she is hoping “for a better life.”

Defense attorney Walter Vierra said Ige is living in Kona, on the Big Island, where she is not tempted to use drugs and is far away from those temptations on Maui.

He added that although Ige was found with a “big stash” of drugs, she wasn’t selling them. The drugs were for her own use.

Ige pleaded no contest to second-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, prohibited acts relating to drug paraphernalia and fourth-degree promotion of a harmful drug, court records show. The charges stem from an incident on July 25, when police found her with drugs and a glass pipe in her vehicle during a traffic stop at Amala Place and Kaa Street in Kahului, according to court records.

In another court matter, 48-year-old Kevin Galbraith of Kihei was sentenced to a year on probation and 17 days in jail for assaulting an emergency medical technician and resisting arrest when paramedics were taking him to Maui Memorial Medical Center last year.

Cardoza sentenced Galbraith in accordance with a plea agreement. Galbraith, who was out of custody Thursday, was given credit for the 17 days he had already served in jail.

He will also seek to use medical marijuana while on probation. A hearing for the matter is scheduled for April 17.

As his attorney was addressing the court during sentencing, Galbraith said that the allegation that he hit a medic was a “lie.”

Later Galbraith explained that the technicians were trying to “stick a big needle” in his arm and that he kept apologizing because he apparently did something wrong.

Galbraith added that when police arrived they roughed him up.

Deputy Public Defender Annalisa Bernard said Galbraith had overdosed on a number of drugs, including a whole bottle of anxiety medication. He also drank alcohol and smoked marijuana.

She said he began to have convulsions and called 911.

As medics were taking him to the hospital, Galbraith might have experienced a drug-induced psychosis and had a panic attack. He thought that those helping him were trying to kill him.

“At that moment, he wanted to get out of the ambulance,” Bernard said.

Galbraith was flailing his arms and in the process hit one of the medics, she added. When police showed up, Galbraith resisted arrest.

Bernard said her client is “in a better place now” in his life and checks in with a drug treatment program when he feels like he needs help.

Hura, the prosecutor, said that regardless what the defendant felt, the medics were there to help him and it is important that they be protected from harm.

Galbraith pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of third-degree assault and resisting arrest.

The charges stem from the incident on March 12, 2013, according to court records.