WAILUKU - A Lanai man has been sentenced to a five-year prison term on drug charges, with a judge saying the defendant hadn't shown he could follow court orders while on probation in the past.
"At this point, I have to impose the sentence that's permitted under the law," 2nd Circuit Judge Peter Cahill told Gerald Ohashi Jr. "You have served other prior jail terms that you have not necessarily profited from. There just seems to be an inability to comply with the court's orders."
Ohashi, 36, was sentenced May 2 after he had pleaded no contest to third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, possessing drug paraphernalia and third-degree promotion of a detrimental drug.
The charges resulted from police response to a 7:30 a.m. report June 15 that a man was screaming that he wanted to kill people near 505 Front St. in Lahaina, according to court records. Officers found Ohashi with marijuana and located a smoking pipe with crystal methamphetamine in his backpack.
Ohashi asked for another chance on probation, saying he was taking mental health medication and was seeking entry into a drug treatment program.
But Deputy Prosecutor Tracy Jones said probation wasn't appropriate for Ohashi, based on how he had done in the past.
"In order to rehabilitate himself, he's got to show up and engage," Jones said.
Ohashi was on probation for first-degree assault on a law enforcement officer and first-degree criminal trespassing when he was arrested on the drug charges last year.
Ohashi's criminal history includes seven prior felony convictions as well as misdemeanor convictions, Cahill said.
In another sentencing Wednesday, a 35-year-old man was placed on one year's probation after pleading no contest to a misdemeanor assault charge in connection with a knifepoint robbery reported at Keopuolani Park last year.
Darwin Dela Cruz was given credit for more than nine months he had spent in jail.
Dela Cruz had been charged with approaching a man with a knife and robbing him, said Deputy Prosecutor Kim Whitworth. She said the incident occurred at 2:30 p.m. April 13, 2012, at the park.
"It's a place where children are, a place where people exercise, where people play," she said.
Dela Cruz was found to have a campsite in trees near the playground.
His attorney, Cary Virtue, said Dela Cruz was now living with a relative, helping take care of his mother and complying with requirements of probation in another case.
"I'm trying my best," he said.
Originally charged with first-degree robbery, Dela Cruz had pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of third-degree assault.
"Your behavior is not the kind of behavior we want to see happen in a playground, in a park," 2nd Circuit Judge Rhonda Loo told Dela Cruz.
Luckily, she said, the victim "had the good sense to get on his bike and get out of there."
Loo also said Dela Cruz seemed to be doing better since he was no longer homeless and living in the park.
Dela Cruz was ordered to complete an anger management program.
* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.