WAILUKU - Had she shown up for her court hearing five years ago, a Wailuku woman was facing a sentence of probation and no additional jail.
Instead, Sandra Muller, 38, was sentenced Oct. 30 to a one-year jail term for forgery and theft convictions.
"Was it worth it?" 2nd Circuit Judge Richard Bissen asked Muller.
"It wasn't worth it at all," she said.
In October 2007, Muller had pleaded no contest to second-degree forgery and attempted second-degree theft.
She was charged after stealing a letter containing a check for $12,500 from the mailbox of the Family Peace Center in August 2006, said Deputy Prosecutor Kenton Werk. Muller altered the check to make it payable to herself and tried to cash it at a bank, he said.
"She reported she forged the check to get money to buy drugs," Werk said.
Originally, Muller was scheduled to be sentenced in December 2007 but she didn't show up, Werk said. She was arrested on a bench warrant in August 2008 and her sentencing was reset for October 2008, when she again didn't appear, he said.
Police records show Muller was arrested Sept. 1 on warrants totaling $85,200.
"What happened?" Bissen asked Muller. "Why did you miss your sentencing five years ago?"
"I was homeless," Muller said.
"So you had no excuse," the judge said. "You had nowhere else to be."
Bissen said Muller's initial plea deal called for no jail beyond the 50 days she had already served.
"Your failure to appear at your sentencing is what's caused you to have an additional 10 months' jail," he told Muller. "If you had shown up, you would have walked home that day."
Muller also was placed on five years' probation and ordered not to consume alcohol or illegal drugs.