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Woman gets chance to clear drug conviction

WAILUKU — A woman who said she was thankful for the arrest that led her to seek treatment has been given a chance to keep a felony drug conviction off her record.

Jenny Williams, 44, of Kihei said she has been sober for more than a year after reaching “my point of surrender” last year.

“I became willing to do whatever it takes to get clean and find a new way of life,” she said at her sentencing Wednesday.

Williams had pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of second-degree promotion of a dangerous drug.

She was arrested June 7, 2019, when police Crime Reduction Unit officers executed search warrants for Williams, her residence and vehicle, said Deputy Prosecutor Joanne Hicks.

Police reported finding two plastic bags containing methamphetamine in a purse on the living room floor, as well as less than a gram of methamphetamine in a tin in a bedroom closet for a total of nearly 33 grams.

The drugs had a street value estimated at $4,000 to $8,000, Hicks said.

She said Williams was known to be a heavy user of methamphetamine who would sell the drug to support her habit and that was a consideration in reaching the plea agreement.

After reviewing a report prepared for Williams’ sentencing, Hicks said she was “very encouraged” by the changes the defendant had made.

Defense attorney Gerald Johnson said Williams had done so well that she wasn’t considered appropriate for residential drug treatment and was participating in outpatient treatment.

“The life I’m living today makes my past look like a bad dream,” Williams said.

She said she had hope for the first time.

“I owe this all to the authorities of Maui County intervening in my less than healthy life,” Williams said. “I am grateful for my arrest and the road I chose that has given me the route to recovery.”

Second Circuit Judge Kirstin Hamman said Williams was “a shining example of what we all hope to see when someone is suffering from addiction.”

Based on probation reports, “it really was a story of someone turning tragedy into triumph,” Hamman said.

“At the time of your arrest, you were practically begging for help,” she said to Williams. “The loss of your son was the game changer, and I can understand why. He has nobody but you.”

While commending Williams, Hamman said one year of sobriety “in a lifetime, is not very long at all.”

“Life is going to give you challenges, adversities, and you might find yourself tempted to use again,” Hamman said. “You do have a lot to lose. You also have a lot of people who look up to you. You give them hope in their journey of recovery. You’re inspirational to them.”

Williams was given credit for nine days she previously spent in jail.

The judge granted Williams’ request to keep the conviction off her record if she complies with court requirements for the next four years.

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

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