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Two involved in Kahului hotel robbery placed on probation

WAILUKU — Two men have been placed on four years’ probation for their roles in the robbery of a guest at a Kahului hotel last year.

Robert Walsh, 54, of Wailuku had pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of second-degree robbery. Joshua Kaleikini, 20, also of Wailuku had pleaded no contest to the same charge.

The two were among six people charged with conspiring to commit the robbery the morning of Oct. 20, 2020, at the Maui Beach Hotel.

While Walsh and Kaleikini allegedly helped plan the robbery, police said they weren’t among the three people who carried out the robbery, including one who entered the room with a machete and swung it at the occupant. A backpack that contained $26,000 in cash that the victim had received from settlement of a lawsuit was stolen, police said.

“To say that you and your cohorts’ plan was one of probably the most idiotic things someone has done would be an understatement,” 2nd Circuit Judge Blaine Kobayashi said in sentencing Walsh on Oct. 8.

Even more disturbing, Kobayashi said, was the “sneaky and conniving way” Walsh planned to steal thousands of dollars from a friend.

The judge noted that Walsh’s criminal history dates to 1994 when he was convicted of larceny. A theft conviction followed and Walsh was placed on probation for stealing a vehicle, only to have his probation revoked twice, Kobayashi said.

“The harsh reality is you were and you probably still are a very, very lost soul,” Kobayashi said. You spent a significant amount of your adult life living a life of deceit and criminality.

Walsh graduated from the Maui Drug Court program of treatment and supervision.

After being arrested in the robbery, he was jailed for about 10 months before he was released in August so he could participate in drug treatment.

Walsh had completed the residential part of the treatment program and was continuing in outpatient treatment, said his attorney, John Parker.

Walsh said he had learned from the program.

“I needed to look at the things I do,” he said. “This time, I was able to open myself up. I think I have a better chance this time.”

While a report prepared for his sentencing included reasons the defendant shouldn’t be placed on probation, Judge Kobayashi followed a plea agreement between the defense and prosecution in imposing the probation sentence.

“You’re going to have to prove to the court that you can comply and live within the bounds of the law,” Kobayashi told Walsh.

Kaleikini, who was sentenced to probation Friday, had spent about seven months in jail before he was released on supervision in June.

“He has complied and progressed quite significantly since being released,” said his attorney, Jon Apo. “To his credit, he is in a very stable place.”

He said Kaleikini was sober and working.

“Joshua understands that this was a major mistake on his part, notwithstanding what he thought was a minor involvement in the incident,” Apo said.

Judge Kobayashi said Kaleikini “didn’t have anything close to a normal childhood” and his criminal history started with theft when he was 11 years old.

His lack of role models as a youth and his substance abuse contributed to his “extremely poor decisions,” Kobayashi said.

“You’re at a major crossroads in your life,” the judge told Kaleikini. “You are the one that’s going to ultimately decide where you want the rest of your life to be — in jail or you can turn from what has happened in the past. That’s all within your power.”

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

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