Man gets jail term in theft, car cases

WAILUKU – A Kihei man is serving a one-year jail term after being convicted of theft and driving stolen vehicles in three criminal cases.

Jeffrey Reeves, 29, was placed on four years’ probation as part of his sentence imposed May 2. In one case, he was ordered to pay a fine of $2,458, representing four times the value of items shoplifted from a Quiksilver store in April 2013.

In court, Reeves said he has plans to go back to school and help the community.

Second Circuit Judge Richard Bissen followed a plea agreement between the defense and prosecution in sentencing Reeves.

Noting that Reeves’ criminal history includes more than 70 arrests and 30 convictions, Bissen said “one of the challenges any court has in sentencing someone with your record is trying to figure out if this is the time you’ve gotten it and are going to turn the corner.”

Reeves has been placed on probation before and had been sentenced to prison, Bissen said.

Reeves had pleaded no contest to two counts each of unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle and second-degree theft.

He was arrested while driving a stolen Honda Accord in August, according to court records.

In another case, Reeves was stopped Dec. 2 while driving a BMW sedan that had been reported stolen about 10 minutes earlier from a Kihei residence.

In another sentencing April 22, a 20-year-old Paia woman was placed on five years’ probation after being convicted of drug and vehicle break-in charges.

Kelsey Cooper was given credit for two months she had previously spent in jail.

Her lawyer, Ben Lowenthal, said Cooper was a “work in progress.”

After leaving Oregon to get away from substance abuse and other issues, Cooper “ended up homeless on the beach and fell into a crowd similar to the crowd she was trying to get away from,” Lowenthal said.

Cooper had pleaded no contest to first-degree unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle, third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug and possessing drug paraphernalia in two cases.

While Cooper asked for a chance to keep the convictions off her record, Deputy Prosecutor Justine Hura opposed the request.

“The conduct indicates the defendant was very deeply involved in drug behavior, not just using but hanging around people who are also deeply enmeshed,” Hura said. “It does appear the defendant has been struggling for quite some time.”

The drug charges followed a Dec. 12, 2012, traffic stop when police noticed a strong odor of marijuana from the vehicle Cooper was driving, Hura said. She said a passenger told police that Cooper had just sold $40 worth of methamphetamine to someone in Paia.

After Cooper declined to allow police to search the vehicle, a police K9 dog alerted to the presence of drugs and police obtained a search warrant, Hura said. She said Cooper was being processed at the Wailuku Police Station when she dropped 0.53 gram of methamphetamine on the control room floor while passing through the room.

Cooper admitted to buying $100 worth of ice from someone in Skill Village in Paia, Hura said.

In another case, Cooper and Jonathan Histo were caught rummaging through a truck parked in the Costco parking lot Feb. 20, 2013. Histo hit the truck owner with an alcohol can and ran.

Cooper drove away. After police obtained the license plate number of her car, she was found hiding in shrubs in Paia, Hura said.

Second Circuit Judge Joseph Cardoza denied Cooper’s request for a chance to keep the convictions off her record. He followed a plea agreement in sentencing Cooper.

Histo, 30, was sentenced last year to a one-year jail term as part of five years’ probation in the case.