WAILUKU - A man was sentenced to a 10-year prison term Sept. 7 for burglarizing a Honokowai storage unit from which guns were stolen.
Matthew Kinser, 35, of Lahaina wanted to be sentenced quickly so he can ask the Hawaii Paroling Authority to release him because of his serious health problem, said defense attorney William Sloper.
Kinser was sentenced after pleading no contest to first-degree theft, prohibited possession of a firearm and second-degree burglary. The prosecution dismissed another six counts each of first-degree theft and prohibited possession of a firearm.
As part of the plea agreement, the prosecution agreed not to seek a mandatory-minimum prison term for Kinser, who has a 2003 conviction for first-degree burglary.
The burglary of the storage unit was discovered the morning of May 3 when 5A Rent-A-Space employees discovered the unit had been broken into during the night, said Deputy Prosecutor Lloyd Phelps.
He said surveillance video showed someone hopping over a gate and leaving 20 minutes later with items. The stolen property, such as a hunting knife and firearms, including a long rifle and shotgun, was valued at $8,245.
The owner suspected Kinser, who had helped move property into the storage unit, Phelps said.
He said Kinser was arrested May 14 when he was found to have an open liquor container in a vehicle that was stopped for a traffic violation. Kinser admitted entering the storage locker and taking the items, which were returned to the owner, Phelps said. He said Kinser told police he had planned to sell the property to get money to go to Utah.
"He was in a desperate situation when he committed this crime," Sloper said.
Kinser said he was sorry. "I hope one day I get to apologize to the person I committed the crimes against," he said.
Kinser has a criminal history of 10 prior arrests and four convictions, Phelps said.
Second Circuit Judge Richard Bissen followed the plea agreement in sentencing Kinser.
In another sentencing Friday, a 43-year-old Lahaina man was given credit for about four months he spent in jail for a shoplifting that turned into a robbery at Uptown Chevron in Wailuku.
Mark Clairemont also was placed on five years' probation.
He had pleaded no contest to second-degree robbery, third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug and possessing drug paraphernalia.
The robbery occurred May 7 when Clairemont went into the Uptown Chevron store, took two packets of almonds valued at less than $7 and ran out, said Deputy Prosecutor Mark Simonds. He said that when Clairemont was caught, he shoved employee Edmund Kahoohanohano, who suffered a scraped elbow.
When a police detective questioned Clairemont afterward, "the only statement the defendant made over and over again was: 'I didn't commit a felony, I didn't commit a felony,' " Simonds said.
Because of the force used, the petty misdemeanor theft became a felony robbery.
After the theft, Clairemont ran across the street and was chased by Kahoohanohano, who caught up with the suspect on the sidewalk near Bank of Hawaii, said defense attorney Al Albrechtson.
"He didn't intend to injure Mr. Kahoohanohano," Albrechtson said. "He reacted in an attempt to flee."
Clairemont ran into the McDonald's parking lot, where a bystander grabbed Clairemont, put him in a headlock and "began pummeling him," Albrechtson said.
He said Clairemont doesn't have a history of violence but does have substance abuse issues that he wanted to get help for.
About three weeks before the robbery on April 14, Clairemont was found nude and surrounded by drug paraphernalia at a construction site in Lahaina, Simonds said.
"Most of his adult life has been pretty much consumed by addiction," Simonds said.
In court Friday, Clairemont said he was a pacifist.
"I try to see this as a positive and see this as an opportunity to address some of the issues," he said.
Bissen said Clairemont has at least three prior shoplifting convictions. In his latest arrest, Clairemont's mistake was not returning the stolen items or waiting for police, Bissen said.
He said reports indicated Clairemont spent about half of his 123 days in jail in solitary confinement for infractions including taking pens from the library and collecting milk cartons.
"It looks like you were stealing even from the jail," Bissen told Clairemont. "You don't see that all the time."
Clairemont was ordered not to enter Uptown Chevron and to write a letter apologizing to Kahoohanohano. Clairemont was ordered not to consume alcohol or illegal drugs.
* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.