WAILUKU - A Pukalani man who had been doing well in the Maui Drug Court program before a drunken driving arrest earlier this year was sentenced Thursday to a 10-year prison term.
Because he is a repeat offender, Gavin Constantino, 22, was ordered to serve at least three years and four months of the term before being eligible for parole.
"It's unfortunate we're here in this situation," 2nd Circuit Judge Joseph Cardoza said.
Constantino had been found guilty of first-degree burglary, second-degree criminal property damage and underage liquor possession in a 2009 case after he said he wanted to be terminated from participation in the Drug Court program of treatment and supervision. His decision followed his arrest in February on a drunken driving charge that he was later convicted of.
At the time, Constantino had been in the final phase of the Drug Court program, which he had been admitted into in March 2011.
"We fought hard for Mr. Constantino to stay in Drug Court because he had been doing so well," said Deputy Public Defender Danielle Sears. "He had such potential to do well."
Deputy Prosecutor Terence Herndon said the drunken driving conviction was the second for Constantino.
"It's very unfortunate he has to go to prison," Herndon said. "However, the choices he made clearly led up to the consequence. Hopefully, this will be a wake-up call for him, and he can use the tools he learned in Drug Court and really turn his life around."
Said Constantino: "Hopefully, I come out a better person than I go in."
Constantino was ordered to pay $6,221 in restitution in the case, which involved an Oct. 20, 2009, burglary of an unoccupied house in Makawao.
According to police, Constantino and co-defendant Brandon Pagan broke into the home and caused damage amounting to more than $6,000. Two years ago, Pagan, then 21, was sentenced to 90 days in jail and five years' probation in the case.
On Thursday, Constantino also was sentenced to prison in an earlier 2009 case on charges of third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, possessing drug paraphernalia, third-degree promotion of a detrimental drug and underage liquor possession.
* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at email@example.com.