WAILUKU - After spending nearly a year in jail, a Haiku man was released and placed on 10 years' probation for stabbing his mother in the back while she was calling 911 last year.
"You have my word I will never do it to anyone again," Colton Roberts, 20, said at his sentencing Wednesday. "Just thinking about it brings a deep sadness to my life. I've talked to my mom about it . . . she assures me she loves me and forgives me.
"I'm so grateful for having a second chance."
Originally charged with second-degree attempted murder, Roberts had pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of attempted manslaughter.
Because of arguments in the home, Roberts' mother was on the phone to 911 to request police intervention Nov. 9 when Roberts stabbed her in the back with a knife that had a 4-inch blade, said Deputy Prosecutor Emlyn Higa.
He said Roberts stabbed his mother "with such force that his mother thought that he had kicked her."
"Given the location, if it had penetrated her body, it would have hit her lung and heart and it would have been a fatal blow," Higa said. "The reason it didn't go in was because it hit her rib and broke her rib."
Roberts' father removed the knife.
While agreeing to Roberts' release from jail Wednesday, the prosecution opposed his request to return to the family home without the recommendation of his treating physician and probation officer, Higa said. He said the request was for Roberts' safety as well as his parents' safety.
Defense attorney Cary Virtue said Roberts had nowhere else to go and would be homeless if he couldn't live with his parents.
"Over the past year, the positive thing that's happened is there's been real healing between the parents and their son," Virtue said. "He came into the system as an undiagnosed mental health patient."
Virtue said Roberts had been self-medicating with marijuana and other drugs and acted under "extreme emotional distress" in the stabbing.
But with treatment while in jail, the auditory hallucinations that had affected Roberts have receded, Virtue said.
He said Roberts' parents have a clean and sober home.
Second Circuit Judge Rhonda Loo allowed Roberts to live with his parents as part of his probation. But she warned Roberts that if he doesn't comply with requirements of his probation, he faces jail and possibly prison.
"Whether you want to believe it or not, there are some hidden demons you have and you need to deal with these hidden demons," Loo told Roberts. "Hopefully, with treatment and monitoring and supervision and the help of your family, you will be able to get hold of these demons and tame them."
Roberts was ordered to undergo mental health treatment and not to consume alcohol or illegal drugs.