Kahului man gets jail for multiple crimes

The Maui News

WAILUKU — A Kahului man who stole cars, a moped, a truck and other valuables, accumulating charges for 18 crimes in three months, was sentenced Friday to a one-year jail term.

Rory Kawaha, 20, was ordered to pay $17,406 in restitution as part of four years’ probation.

“I find you to be like an emotional vampire because your behavior, to me, is just draining,” 2nd Circuit Judge Rhonda Loo said in sentencing Kawaha.

She noted that he stole from both people he knew and strangers.

“All these people I consider to be innocents,” Loo said.

In seven cases, Kawaha had pleaded no contest to three counts of second-degree theft, first-degree unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle, third-degree theft, violating a temporary restraining order for protection, five counts of unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, four counts of driving without a license, second-degree escape, fourth-degree criminal property damage and fraudulent use of plates, tags or emblems.

The crimes occurred from September to December.

“He let himself go down a dark, dark path, which is sadly something the community sees all too often,” said Deputy Public Defender Zach Raidmae. “Methamphetamine is so horrible. It just consumed him.”

Raidmae noted that one letter to the court was from someone who was living paycheck to paycheck before having a car and belongings stolen.

“That is a serious blow,” Raidmae said.

He said Kawaha, with support from his family, will seek early release from jail to enter a long-term residential drug treatment program.

Loo noted that Kawaha’s crimes included stealing cars, a moped, a truck that was spray painted, tools and credit cards, as well as driving without a license.

“This is basically a disaster,” Loo said. “Your behavior in three months was reckless and brazen and out of control. You affected lots and lots of lives. Some of them you knew — an ex-girlfriend, a friend of a friend. Some of them were complete strangers to you.

“I find your behavior to be draining because there are so many cases. You created so much havoc in a three-month period.”

Kawaha was ordered to write letters apologizing to eight victims in his cases.