WAILUKU — A man who drove stolen vehicles and committed other new crimes while he was on probation was sentenced Tuesday to five years in prison.
Devon Werner Kalua-Manuel, 25, of Wailuku will serve the entire term, based on one-year mandatory minimum sentences imposed for five of the crimes.
Although the defendant needs treatment, 2nd Circuit Judge Kelsey Kawano said the prison sentence was warranted because of the “multiplicity and repetitive” nature of the crimes.
In two criminal cases, Kalua-Manuel had pleaded guilty to three counts of unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, three counts of habitual property crime, two counts of driving after his license was revoked for DUI, resisting an order to stop a motor vehicle, unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle, second-degree reckless endangering, attempted second-degree theft and reckless driving. The crimes occurred from July 2020 to April 2021.
Other charges were dismissed in exchange for his pleas.
Kalua-Manuel was serving a jail term as part of probation in four other cases when he was temporarily released from jail in April 2020. He acknowledged using methamphetamine two months later, then failed to show up for a court hearing in July 2020, court records show.
He was again released from jail in December 2020 and given the chance to enter a long-term treatment program on Oahu but he didn’t complete requirements for admission, Judge Kawano said. He said Kalua-Manuel absconded from probation.
“He turned his back on drug treatment,” said Deputy Prosecutor Johann Smith. “He is a danger to the community.
“Maybe in five years, he’ll learn how to live without stealing or hurting people. We hope that he gets the message and decides, upon release, to live right and rejoin the community.”
Kalua-Manuel, who appeared by videoconference from Halawa Correctional Facility, said he had spent time in custody reading.
“I can’t do something and expect nothing in return, whether it’s good or bad,” he said.
He said he was ashamed of his actions. “In the process, I have hurt people I love dearly, also people I have no ties with,” he said. “I have put pain in their lives that they did not deserve.
“I have no excuses for my actions, although I was in a dark place in my life and heavy into drugs. From the bottom of my heart, I apologize.”
* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.