WAILUKU - A man who said he pulled out a pellet gun in self-defense after going to a Kahului neighborhood to help a friend last year was placed on one year's probation last week.
"It was a very dumb thing I did," Kayleaf Carter, 27, of Kahului said in court.
He had pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of second-degree terroristic threatening in the Dec. 20 incident.
Police arrested Carter after being called to Kaulu Place at about 3:45 a.m.
Deputy Public Defender Greg Ball said Carter had been drinking before he went to the location after being called by a friend who said the friend's girlfriend was smoking ice with people, and "let's go rescue her."
As Carter was walking down the cul-de-sac, he was hit on the back of his head and fell to the ground, Ball said. Carter saw people surrounding him and pulled out the BB gun, which he had gotten from his friend.
"He yelled, 'Back up, back up,' " Ball said. "He was just aiming it at everyone. He had been assaulted, knocked to the ground and was simply using the gun as a defensive prop to keep from being hit anymore."
While Carter was there when police officers arrived, his friend was gone, Ball said.
At the time, Carter was on probation in a felony drug case.
"I made a lot of mistakes in my life, and I just couldn't figure out why I kept making these stupid mistakes," Carter said in court Wednesday.
After talking with his girlfriend and his probation officer, Carter said he realizes "it's my cast of characters."
"I choose the wrong people to hang out with," he said. "For me now, it's just work and my children. I don't even want to meet new friends."
Carter said he wanted to apologize to those who were there that night.
Saying it was a fair deal given the circumstances, 2nd Circuit Judge Rhonda Loo followed a plea agreement in sentencing Carter. She gave him credit for three days he previously spent in jail.
When he was called by his friend and given the BB gun, "your sixth sense should have been going off," Loo told Carter. "It was very, very lucky that no one got hurt."
She ordered him to have no contact with the victims.
In another sentencing Wednesday, a 29-year-old Haiku woman was given a chance to keep theft convictions off her record after she agreed to pay full restitution for jewelry stolen from her future mother-in-law last year.
Alisha Dela Cruz was placed on five years' probation and ordered to write a letter apologizing to the victim.
She had pleaded no contest to second- and third-degree theft charges.
The jewelry was stolen in July 2010 while Dela Cruz was housesitting and feeding the dogs for her future in-laws, according to court records. Some of the jewelry was pawned in August.
"This is one of those cases that highlights the reality that drug addiction can happen to all kinds of people," Ball said. "Here we have drug addiction happening to a fundamentally good person."
He said Dela Cruz, who is "extremely remorseful," is seeking help for an addiction to opiates.
Deputy Prosecutor Timothy Tate said the victim doesn't "feel any less violated because it was a family member."
"She has to really learn not to blame her drug problem on the crimes she commits," Tate said.
He said the stolen jewelry included heirlooms that the victim didn't have paperwork to document. But Dela Cruz agreed to pay restitution for those items as well.
Loo said Dela Cruz's willingness to make full restitution was a factor in granting her a deferral of her no-contest pleas.
"You were invited as a guest to housesit and not to steal," Loo told Dela Cruz. "You can see why she would feel violated. They trusted you to stay at the house."
In a letter to the court, the victim said she had forgiven Dela Cruz but still feels uncomfortable.
Dela Cruz was ordered to pay restitution of $5,641, most of it for the jewelry.
* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.