WAILUKU - A 26-year-old Kahului man who tried to smother his young son by covering his face with a pillow last year was sentenced to five years' probation and was given credit for the 129 days he had already spent in jail.
JR Edward, who was sentenced in accordance with a plea agreement Thursday, was ordered to stay away from his girlfriend. He had threatened her and tried to harm their son.
Second Circuit Judge Joseph Cardoza ordered Edward to undergo anger management treatment or enter a domestic violence intervention course. The judge prohibited Edward from using alcohol and unprescribed or illicit drugs, among other conditions.
Edward had pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of attempted assault in the first-degree for the incident on Dec. 18. He had originally been charged with second-degree attempted murder, first-degree terroristic threatening, first-degree criminal trespassing and interfering with reporting an emergency, records show.
Deputy Prosecutor Emlyn Higa told the court that although Edward would like to reunite with his family, the state opposes him having any contact with his girlfriend or his son.
Higa said Edward's girlfriend has "left the jurisdiction" to get away from him.
He said that prior to this incident, Edward was charged in another matter with abuse of his girlfriend.
Higa said the abuse incident resulted from his girlfriend telling him she wanted to leave him.
Edward declined to speak in court Thursday.
Deputy Public Defender Adriel Menor said his client "was really deep in his addiction" when the incident occurred, and he had been drinking.
Menor said that, since the incident, Edward has not taken any drugs or drank any alcohol.
He added that Edward has taken steps to improve himself and will soon be working at Ka'anapali Beach Hotel.
"I know he has been working hard to get employment," Menor said.
The latest charges stem from an incident last year. A family member testified in a hearing earlier this year that Edward held a pillow with two hands while pushing it down on his nearly 2-year-old son's face at their residence on Kono Place in Kahului.
When police arrived, Edward left. But he later returned and threatened his girlfriend with a 12-inch kitchen knife, according to previous court testimony.