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Probation ordered for Napili man who fired a gun in his house

WAILUKU — A man who said he was in a “dark place” when he fired a gun in his residence last year was placed on four years’ probation.

Ryan Galbraith, 40, of Napili was given credit for four days he previously spent in jail.

He was arrested July 11 when police were called after he got into an argument with his girlfriend. She went outside to de-escalate the situation while he was in the house and fired a shot, police reported.

Police reported finding Galbraith nearby with an unregistered and unserialized .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol loaded with nine rounds of .45-caliber ammunition.

“I want to apologize to everybody here on Maui for my actions,” Galbraith said when he was sentenced May 6. “I was in a dark place for a while.”

He said he suffered a loss during the COVID-19 pandemic and was drinking heavily.

Since then, he has sought treatment and was doing well, Galbraith said.

The prosecution reported that Galbraith has a prior conviction for the felony offense of carjacking in California in 2002, as well as convictions for DUI or alcohol-related offenses.

His attorney, Kristin Coccaro, said Galbraith was in his 20s and with the wrong crowd when he “ended up in a violent prison situation that affected his mental health.”

“He went for 20 years after that very traumatic prison term when he was a young man and turned his life around, built a career, lived a law-abiding life,” Coccaro said.

She said he was laid off from his job when he and his girlfriend moved to Maui.

“From his young life, alcohol creates an impulse problem, and that’s what occurred on that night,” Coccaro said.

She said Galbraith has started a business.

“He’s done an amazing job in doing what he needs to do to turn his life around, to make sure he doesn’t end up in prison,” Coccaro said. “He’s done everything he needed to do without being told by the court or probation officer.”

Galbraith had pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm and first-degree reckless endangering.

In exchange for his pleas, charges were dismissed for being a felon in possession of ammunition, keeping a pistol in an improper place, obtaining firearm parts to assemble a firearm having no serial number, keeping ammunition in an improper place and not having a permit to acquire a firearm.

The defense and prosecution recommended probation and no additional jail for Galbraith.

In following the plea agreement, 2nd Circuit Judge Kirstin Hamman said Galbraith’s life seemed to “go from extreme highs to extreme lows.”

“This is an extreme low,” she said. “Your history does show that you are able to turn it around.

“We all go through difficult times and trying circumstances. You have to learn how to adjust to those without resorting to criminal behavior.”

As part of his probation, Galbraith was ordered not to consume alcohol or illegal drugs and to complete anger management treatment.

The firearm and ammunition were ordered forfeited to the state.

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

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