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3 months in jail ordered for threat to neighbor

WAILUKU — A Lahaina man who has a prior felony threatening conviction is serving a three-month jail term for threatening a neighbor with a weapon.

Phillip Ballard, 60, was taken into custody Jan. 30 to serve the jail sentence as part of four years’ probation.

He had pleaded no contest to first-degree terroristic threatening.

After an argument Dec. 22, 2018, the other man admitted slapping Ballard across the face first, said Deputy Public Defender Zach Raidmae. He said then Ballard went into his apartment and got a weapon.

While Ballard said the weapon was a retractable pointer, Deputy Prosecutor Mike Kagami said Ballard’s girlfriend told police she saw a knife in the defendant’s hand.

She said Ballard walked out the front door and began chasing the other man while holding the knife, Kagami said.

Ballard asked to be spared any additional jail.

“There have been no further problems,” Raidmae said. “We know he can do well on probation because he did well on probation last time.”

According to court records, Ballard was placed on five years’ probation in July 2013 after he pleaded no contest to first-degree terroristic threatening, second-degree reckless endangering, prohibited possession of a firearm, acquiring a firearm without registration and possession of a prohibited pistol magazine.

In that case, Ballard was arrested in October 2012 after a resident of the Puuone Gardens apartment complex on Liholiho Street in Wailuku reported that Ballard pointed an assault rifle at the resident and his four children, ages 11, 10, 7 and 4 months, as they were getting into their vehicle. Ten to 15 minutes earlier, the man and his wife had been unloading groceries from the vehicle when Ballard had yelled at the couple to use their own parking stall, police said. After pointing the rifle, Ballard drove away, police said.

In sentencing Ballard last month, 2nd Circuit Judge Peter Cahill noted that the defendant had done well on probation in his previous case.

“Nonetheless, this is a violent crime,” Cahill said. “When you’re slapped on the cheek, you should turn the other cheek. When you’ve been convicted of a crime of terroristic threatening with an AR-15, maybe you should follow those guidelines and walk away.”

Ballard was ordered not to consume illegal drugs and complete anger management treatment.

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