WAILUKU - A man who was homeless and suffering from drug addiction when he was arrested for crimes more than five years ago was sentenced Thursday to a 10-year prison term.
As a repeat offender, Haaheo Campos-Whitford, 24, was ordered to serve at least three years and four months of the term before being eligible for parole.
Second Circuit Judge Joseph Cardoza said that he hoped Campos-Whitford could get treatment and move forward in life.
"You have a lot of good qualities," Cardoza told Campos-Whitford. "You're a good human being."
Campos-Whitford spent more than three years participating in the Maui Drug Court program of drug treatment and supervision before being terminated from participation in November. He has already been incarcerated longer than the mandatory-minimum term.
He was sentenced for first-degree burglary, second-degree theft and third-degree promotion of a detrimental drug in a 2008 case and unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle in a 2007 case.
"When Haaheo got in trouble, we were homeless, living in Kihei in the park or on a back road in our car," his mother, Kuulei Whitford, said in court Thursday. "He is the most sensitive of my three sons. He just fell through the cracks."
Asking for leniency, she said that family members had wanted treatment, not prison, for Campos-Whitford, in supporting his participation in Drug Court instead of seeking a trial in the burglary case.
The burglary charge was for taking video games from her brother's house, where he is still welcome, Whitford said. She said her brother got back his belongings.
In the stolen vehicle case, Campos-Whitford was drunk when he tried to steal a pizza delivery car from Round Table Pizza. "He never even got the car out of the stall," Whitford said. "He never even got one rotation on the tire."
As of Thursday, she said that her son had been incarcerated for four years, one month and 15 days. "Until this point, he hasn't gotten treatment," she said. "This kid never hurt nobody."
Defense attorney Gerald Johnson said Campos-Whitford had tried to complete the Drug Court program.
Drug Court counselors and case managers had worked with Campos-Whitford, said Deputy Prosecutor Terence Herndon. But he said Campos-Whitford falsified meeting attendance cards and used alcohol in one instance. "Unfortunately, he couldn't comply with the rules," Herndon said.
Campos-Whitford said he obtained the equivalent of a high school diploma while in Drug Court and had enrolled in college. "That's something I did for me," he said. "I realize there's more to life than going in and out of jail."
He said he didn't consider himself a failure, noting that although he didn't graduate from Drug Court, he didn't commit another crime.
* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at email@example.com.