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Man gets 10 years on burglary, drug charges

Ryan Pavao said MCCC riot ruined his plans to enter Maui Drug Court

WAILUKU — A man who said his chance to enter the Maui Drug Court program was derailed by a riot at the Maui Community Correctional Center was resentenced to 10 years in prison.

Ryan Pavao, 28, of Kihei admitted that he had violated requirements of his probation in five criminal cases dating to 2014 and 2017.

He said that after his probation was modified and revoked in the past, he had been waiting for a chance to participate in the Drug Court program of treatment and supervision.

“But the riot happened and without any evidence, they said they found me guilty of it,” Pavao said in court Thursday.

After the riot and fire March 11, 2019, at the Wailuku jail, 18 inmates were found guilty through an administrative process, the Department of Public Safety reported.

Inmates found guilty in connection with the fire were assessed $1,358 each and those found guilty for both the fire and riot were assessed $2,716, according to the department.

The department reported inmates caused millions of dollars in damages, setting fires, tearing nonworking phones off the walls and ransacking cells. Jail staff and inmates both said they feared for their lives as fights broke out, smoke filled the modules and flooding occurred.

Pavao said his participation in Drug Court was put on hold because of the possibility of criminal charges, “which never happened and probably won’t happen because there’s no evidence.”

“Twenty minutes after the riot started, that place was in smoke and you couldn’t see in front of you, not even 2 feet,” Pavao said.

Deputy Public Defender Zach Raidmae said he had talked to many inmates about what happened that day.

“There were people breaking windows to try to get air to inmates” who were vulnerable and lying on the ground in Module B, Raidmae said.

He said no one has been charged in connection with the riot and he didn’t think anyone would be.

Under questioning by 2nd Circuit Judge Peter Cahill, Pavao acknowledged “I messed up” when he was released from jail earlier than expected and didn’t report to either his probation officer or Drug Court.

Deputy Prosecutor Annalisa Bernard Lee said probation officers had tried to help Pavao numerous times.

“We realize and he realizes his problem is drugs,” Bernard Lee said.

“His choices really led him to the path he’s on,” she said. “The state really has no other option than to ask for prison.”

Pavao asked for another chance on probation with an 18-month jail term, which he has already served.

While incarcerated for the past two years, Pavao said he had time to think about his life.

“It’s time for me to stop making excuses and step up,” he said. “It’s time for me to better myself and give the sober life a chance.

“Today, I feel like I’m ready to never step in your courtroom again.”

In resentencing Pavao, Judge Cahill acknowledged family members who wrote letters and were in the courtroom to support him.

“Everything you say is good and it’s what you should be saying,” Cahill told Pavao. “But there’s no plan other than you telling me you’re going to be good.”

Pavao was resentenced to 10-year prison terms for two counts of first-degree burglary and five-year prison terms for two counts of third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, first-degree unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle, unauthorized possession of confidential personal information, theft of a credit card, fraudulent use of a credit card and second-degree theft. He will serve all the prison terms at the same time.

In a separate sentencing Thursday, a Molokai man was ordered to perform 100 hours of community service and placed on four years’ probation for assaulting his then-girlfriend.

Kaiula Kalawe English, 33, of Kaunakakai had pleaded no contest to second-degree assault.

The woman reported being punched in the face and stomach area in the assault on March 11, 2019.

Kalawe English and the woman were ending a relationship and both were “extremely intoxicated” at the time, said defense attorney Michelle Drewyer.

Kalawe English said he is “definitely a changed person.”

He said he is in a new relationship and would be a father in a week or two.

Judge Cahill followed a plea agreement in sentencing Kalawe English on Thursday.

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

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