Paia man’s mistake leads to five-year prison sentence

The Maui News

WAILUKU — A Paia man who said he made a mistake when he ran from the Maui Drug Court program was resentenced to a five-year prison term.

Carlos Holguin, 33, had asked for another chance on probation.

He said the death of his girlfriend three weeks ago was “a very big eye-opener and a huge wake-up call.”

The prosecution recommended prison for Holguin, whose first felony arrest was for theft in 2012. The following year, he was given a chance to keep the conviction off his record, said Deputy Prosecutor Kenton Werk.

Holguin committed new felony offenses in 2015, he said.

In 2016, he was sentenced to a one-year jail term as part of four years’ probation for first-degree unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle and two counts of second-degree theft.

Holguin was admitted into the Drug Court program of intensive treatment and supervision that same year. He was in the program for more than a year before he absconded, Werk said.

“Unfortunately, this defendant’s track record is not good,” Werk said. “It leaves the state with only one option, and that is that he be sentenced to prison for the safety of the community.”

Second Circuit Judge Joseph Cardoza said Feb. 22 that Holguin’s convictions in his 2015 case were “out of the ordinary.”

Holguin and co-defendant Koa U’u were arrested after a 2015 Chevrolet Suburban rental car was broken into and set on fire in the Paia municipal parking lot on Baldwin Avenue in the early morning of Aug. 26, 2015.

The fire destroyed the vehicle and caused an explosion that was heard throughout Paia town.

U’u, who was identified as having set the fire, suffered first-degree burns on his stomach, chest and right arm, police said.

Holguin had been facing prison when he was admitted into the Drug Court program, Judge Cardoza said.

“Unfortunately, despite the efforts of the program, it came apart for you,” he told Holguin.

He was sentenced to five-year prison terms, to be served at the same time, for his three felony convictions.

Holguin was ordered to pay $58,097 in restitution along with co-defendant U’u.

U’u, 25, of Paia was resentenced Feb. 8 to a one-year jail term as part of four years’ probation.