WAILUKU - A 77-year-old Pukalani man, whose insurance had lapsed when his boat sank two years ago, was placed on five years' probation in an insurance fraud case.
"I'm just sorry for this whole mess," Chester Dilley said as he was sentenced last week. "I'll know better next time when I deal with insurance companies. At this point, I'm never going to trust them."
His trial had been under way in 2nd Circuit Court earlier this year when Dilley pleaded no contest to insurance fraud and attempted first-degree theft for making a claim for payment after his 27-foot recreational boat Seawren III sank Feb. 7, 2010, off Olowalu. Dilley and others had been whale watching at the time.
According to trial testimony, he called Progressive Insurance after the fact and bought an insurance policy. A couple of days later, he made the claim for the boat.
Special Deputy Attorney General Ryan Shinsato said Dilley told a fire captain who responded to the sinking that he didn't have insurance for the boat. "It tells me that he knew exactly what he was going to do," Shinsato said at Friday's hearing.
Deputy Public Defender Shelly Miyashiro said Dilley had been going through rough times. "That may have contributed to his lapse in insurance," she said.
Second Circuit Judge Richard Bissen said he considered Dilley's "character as a whole and not just this incident" in imposing the sentence to "reflect what happened, but just as fairly reflect who he is."
Bissen said Dilley has no prior record and has earned a living since he was 12 years old. But in the past six years, he has faced hardships because of divorce and the economy.
"I refuse to ignore all the good deeds he's done," Bissen said. "There's almost no lesson to be learned that he has not already learned. He's set in his ways, and he's set in his view of the case."
Bissen waived fees for Dilley.
"I wish you were not here," the judge told Dilley. "You deserve better."
In another sentencing last week, a 28-year-old Wailuku man was given credit for about one year he spent in jail and was placed on five years' probation for running from police officers who arrested him at a drunken driving checkpoint last year.
Dane Kaina had pleaded no contest to second-degree escape and driving under the influence of alcohol in the March 18, 2011, incident.
At about 8:30 that night, Kaina was driving a pickup truck when he was directed into a sobriety checkpoint at Kanaloa Avenue and Kahului Beach Road. After his blood-alcohol level was measured more than three times the legal limit of 0.08 percent, police were handcuffing Kaina when he pulled away and ran, according to court records. Officers chased and captured him nearby.
He was sentenced on April 18.