Man sentenced to 18-month jail term for gun charge, theft

WAILUKU — A man who was found with a semi-automatic pistol when police stopped a pickup truck was sentenced Wednesday to an 18-month jail term.

Alec Studenka, 30, also was placed on four years’ probation.

Police found the semi-automatic Glock pistol after another man reported having the pistol pointed at him when he was ordered into the truck Sept. 9, 2015, said Deputy Prosecutor Jeffery Temas.

He said the man feared he was going to be shot if he didn’t comply with Studenka, who reportedly had been upset with the other man.

After hitting the victim on the head with what appeared to be the pistol wrapped in cloth and forcing him into the truck, Studenka drove to a subdivision and had the victim fix someone’s internet, Temas said.

He said Studenka was driving on Mokulele Highway (now Maui Veterans Highway) when he pulled off to the side of the road, ordered the victim to give up his keys and cellphone and left him on the side of the road.

When police stopped Studenka driving the 2006 Toyota Tacoma truck, he had the victim’s cellphone and keys, as well as the pistol, Temas said.

Studenka had pleaded no contest to keeping a pistol or revolver in an improper place, carrying a loaded firearm on a public highway and first-degree theft.

He asked to be released from jail after already being incarcerated for about six months.

Studenka had been in jail in Michigan for misdemeanor property offenses when he was extradited back to Maui to face the charges, said Deputy Public Defender Zach Raidmae.

“He has a horrific foot injury from a moped crash,” Raidmae said. “He needs some kind of surgery he can’t get while he’s in custody.”

Noting that Studenka had pleaded no contest to Class B felony charges, Raidmae said, “He’s got all the incentive to do well and avoid a 10-year prison term.”

Studenka said he wanted to transfer his probation to Michigan, where he has family, including two daughters.

“My entire life I’ve made some pretty poor destructive choices,” he said. “Possessing this firearm is definitely another one of those poor decisions. I know it’s time to deal with these demons and find some peace in life.”

Second Circuit Judge Rhonda Loo noted that Studenka had denied striking the victim, bringing the gun and taking the victim’s cellphone and keys.

But police found the weapon, cellphone and keys with Studenka.

“Obviously, honesty is not your best policy,” Loo told Studenka.

She said he had complained about his foot injury, yet he appeared to be more interested in pain medication when he was taken to Maui Memorial Medical Center for treatment.

“When you minimize your record, when you minimize your history, when you minimize your drug use — that’s when the court has to start maximizing your sentence,” Loo said.

As part of his probation, Studenka was ordered not to consume alcohol or illegal drugs and to write a letter apologizing to the victim.

The gun was forfeited to the state.

Studenka was ordered to pay $3,965 in extradition costs.

* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at lfujimoto@mauinews.com.

COMMENTS