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Attempted stabbing in Kahului fruit dispute nets probation

Judge: ‘No papaya’ worth fighting over

WAILUKU — A Kahului man was placed on four years’ probation for trying to stab his landlord with a kitchen knife in a confrontation over papayas.

“There’s no papaya in the entire world that is worth fighting over and doing what you ended up doing in this case,” 2nd Circuit Judge Blaine Kobayashi said Wednesday in sentencing Jimmy Manglicmot. “The bottom line, at the end of the day, is you let your anger get the best of you and you lost control that day.

“You had the opportunity and it was entirely within your power and control to stop things from escalating. You could have and you should have just walked away. You could have and you should have just cooled off. But instead you ramped things up.”

Manglicmot, 51, had pleaded no contest to second-degree assault. A first-degree terroristic threatening charge was dismissed in exchange for his plea.

The assault occurred June 28, 2018, as Manglicmot’s landlord, Tyron Della, was gardening at his residence on Ani Street while Manglicmot was leaving for work.

Della had noticed that someone was picking papayas from trees in his side garden and leaving them on the ground, so he asked Manglicmot if he had been doing that, said Deputy Prosecutor Carson Tani.

“It wasn’t that he was angry,” Tani said. “He just wanted him to use the papayas, not just put them on the ground.

“The defendant interpreted that as accusing him of stealing the papayas.”

Tani said Manglicmot became angry and threatened to get a gun, even though he didn’t have one in his house. He went back into his residence, got a 12-inch kitchen knife and tried to stab Della, Tani said.

“Tyron, thankfully, had some military training, had some knowledge of self-defense,” Tani said. “He was able to parry the defendant’s attempt to stab him.”

While trying to disarm Manglicmot, Della slammed the defendant down on a brick wall, Tani said. He said Della suffered cuts to his chest, right bicep and fingers before grabbing a brick, smashing it against Manglicmot’s wrist and taking away the knife.

Both Della’s son and a neighbor saw what was happening and called police.

At first, Manglicmot told responding police officers that he had disarmed his landlord after he pulled the knife on Manglicmot, Tani said. He said that after being arrested, Manglicmot said he didn’t know where the knife came from, even though his wife told police it had been in the couple’s kitchen.

“That’s when the defendant had a case of amnesia and said he didn’t know anything about the knife,” Tani said. “I think the defendant is just trying to escape responsibility for a dangerous situation that could have escalated a lot more seriously.”

While Tani argued for a 30-day jail term as part of probation, Deputy Public Defender Tyler Stevenson asked the court to consider sparing Manglicmot any additional jail.

He has no prior criminal record and was “scared and nervous” in trying to deflect responsibility when questioned by police, Stevenson said.

He said that before talking to Manglicmot, the landlord had spoken to Manglicmot’s wife about the papayas.

“It was a stern conversation and she got upset,” Stevenson said. “She was visibly upset. She was crying. Her feelings were hurt, her honor was hurt.”

At 5-foot-3 and 115 pounds, Manglicmot was “outmatched” by Della, a 5-foot-7, 170-pound military veteran, Stevenson said.

He said Manglicmot was badly bruised and injured that day.

He “clearly made the wrong decision, but he felt that he needed to stand up for his wife that day,” Stevenson said.

“This is something that is completely out of character for him,” Stevenson said. “It’s highly unlikely to occur again.”

Manglicmot has moved out of the residence, Stevenson said.

In sentencing Manglicmot, Judge Kobayashi said he considered the defendant’s background that includes two years of college and a longtime full-time job. His wife also works full time and the older of their two children is attending college.

Kobayashi said he was concerned by reports about “highly suspect and questionable” urine samples Manglicmot provided for testing and two positive test results for methamphetamine use in 2019.

Manglicmot was given credit for five days he spent in jail. He was ordered not to consume alcohol or illegal drugs.

“We thank the court for its sentence,” Stevenson said. “Mr. Manglicmot will thank the court by being successful on probation.”

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

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