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Man who committed crime while on probation gets prison

The Maui News

WAILUKU — A Lahaina man who was on probation when he committed new crimes was sentenced July 30 to five years in prison.

Jordan Biga, 36, of Lahaina said he would work on goals, including becoming a crane operator, while incarcerated.

“I do know that I can be a better person when I get out,” he said.

In two criminal cases, Biga had pleaded no contest to first-degree unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle, resisting arrest and unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle.

After being arrested in one case in February, Biga was released on supervision in March when he changed his pleas, court records show. He was arrested in June in the stolen-car case.

In recommending the prison sentence, Deputy Prosecutor Ryan Teshima cited Biga’s “considerable prior criminal history.”

Biga committed the latest crimes while he was on probation in three cases, including one for three counts of felony abuse. In two other cases, Biga was on probation for two counts of first-degree unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle.

Although a plea agreement allowed Biga again to seek probation, Deputy Public Defender Heather Wolfenbarger said he recognized that probation wasn’t a good fit for him and wanted to be sentenced to prison.

She said Biga didn’t want to continue the pattern of being repeatedly arrested, then released.

“He’s just tired,” Wolfenbarger said. “He doesn’t want to do it anymore.

“He wants to come out of this prison term a better man. He’s guided largely by his faith in his god and his faith in himself.”

Biga said he hoped he would be sent to a prison facility on Hawaii island so he could continue in vocational training.

Second Circuit Judge Kelsey Kawano sentenced Biga to five-year prison terms in his latest cases, as well as in his probation violation cases. Biga will serve all prison terms at the same time.

** This story includes a correction from the original posted on Friday, Aug. 7, 2020. It had the wrong day of his sentencing in 2nd Circuit Court due to a copy editing error. The Maui News apologizes for the error.

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