‘Affair of the heart’ leads to year in jail

Man violated court order in attempt to see ex-girlfriend

WAILUKU — A one-year jail term was ordered for a Kihei man who returned to his ex-girlfriend’s house in violation of a court order and assaulted her friend.

Harrison Bliss, 33, was placed on four years’ probation as part of his sentence imposed Thursday.

Bliss went back to his ex-girlfriend’s house on June 23, the same day he changed his pleas to no contest in another case where he was arrested for similar actions, said Deputy Prosecutor Ryan Teshima.

Bliss had posted bail to be released from jail after being arrested April 19 in the first case when he again went to his ex-girlfriend’s home, entered the house and assaulted a friend of his girlfriend, Teshima said.

She had obtained a court order that prohibited Bliss from being within 100 yards of her residence.

“We hope by now it is clear he is not to have any contact with the complaining witness, that he must abide by the protective order,” Teshima said.

Bliss had pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of second-degree burglary, violating an order for protection and third-degree assault.

In court Thursday, Bliss said he would “work on myself and be a good role model for my children.”

“It’s been difficult dealing with the breakup of my family,” he said. “I definitely made mistakes. I’ve made some really bad judgment calls. A lot of it has to do with my drinking.”

“These are affairs of the heart,” said Deputy Public Defender Danielle Sears. “He’s been figuring out this relationship and what she wants and what he wants. He didn’t know exactly what she was trying to express to him, and now he knows.”

Second Circuit Judge Peter Cahill said: “It’s not what she wanted. The judge ordered something and he didn’t do it. Are you telling me the affair of the heart affected his ability to understand what the court ordered?”

He said prison was “the solution to the affair of the heart when it affects the head.”

Cahill said he was disturbed that Bliss’ five-page handwritten letter to the court didn’t acknowledge any wrongdoing, except to say he is an alcoholic.

“You’re not here because you’re an alcoholic,” Cahill told Bliss. “You’re here because you committed crimes, and you never acknowledged that.”

Bliss was given credit for nearly three months he already has spent in jail.

He was ordered not to consume alcohol or illegal drugs and to complete anger management treatment.

* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at lfujimoto@mauinews.com.