WAILUKU - While saying it was "pretty disrespectful" for a Hawaiian studies student to use a Hawaiian shark-toothed club to threaten another man, a judge gave the defendant a chance to keep a felony conviction off his record.
As part of his sentencing Feb. 1, Nicholas K. Adams, 21, was ordered to complete anger management treatment and to stay away from drugs and alcohol.
He had pleaded no contest to first-degree terroristic threatening in the April 4 incident.
Adams thought he was helping a friend when he got involved in "what was essentially a crime involving debt for marijuana from a drug dealer," said Deputy Public Defender Greg Ball.
"He was there as the enforcer or protector," Ball said.
Deputy Prosecutor Kim Whitworth said Adams went on to someone else's property with a friend and used the shark-toothed club he had made in his Hawaiian studies class to threaten the other man.
Second Circuit Judge Rhonda Loo said using the leomano as a weapon was "pretty disrespectful."
"I don't know if you were acting as your friend's bodyguard or enforcer," Loo said to Adams. "This was none of your business. You shouldn't have brought the weapon with you."
Adams took a fighting stance and brandished the leomano, threatening the life of the other man, Loo noted.
Adams said he has since moved to Oahu, where he helps an elderly grandparent and is a Hawaiian studies major in college.
"I'm really sorry for what I did and regret all of it," Adams said in court. "I've stopped using drugs."
Loo gave Adams a chance to keep the conviction off his record if he follows court requirements for the next five years.