WAILUKU - Following terms of a plea agreement between the defense and prosecution, a judge ordered probation for a 29-year-old Kula man convicted of assaulting his former girlfriend last year.
Samuel Schuck was ordered to pay $5,873 in restitution. As part of his sentencing Feb. 14, he was given credit for 74 days he previously spent in jail.
Schuck had pleaded no contest to second-degree assault and abuse of the woman on May 6.
That evening, after asking her to come up to his mother's house, he first told the woman how much he missed her, then began yelling at her, she reported. She said she was walking out of the bedroom to leave when Schuck grabbed her by her hair and pulled her back into the room, according to court records.
The woman told police she was punched repeatedly in the head and kneed to the side of her head. She also described gasping for air when Schuck grabbed her throat.
Schuck threatened to kill the woman before she managed to get away, according to court records. She suffered a broken finger and shattered eardrum.
Deputy Prosecutor Emlyn Higa said the woman, who was in the courtroom gallery for Schuck's sentencing, disagreed with the plea deal recommending probation and no additional jail for him.
"She feels that is not justice, and a prison term is warranted in this case," Higa said.
"Notwithstanding Mr. Schuck's record, the state does feel that this is a fair agreement because it adequately provides for the protection of the victim," Higa said. "It does as much as we can to try to ensure that the defendant will not again commit another crime."
Higa said the plea agreement called for Schuck to comply with a temporary restraining order the woman had obtained.
In a letter to the court, Schuck offered no excuse for what he did, Higa said.
"I think this is the first critical step in any kind of rehabilitation," he said.
Defense attorney Matthew Nardi said Schuck was motivated to make improvements in his life.
Second Circuit Judge Peter Cahill said Schuck has serious issues involving women, noting that two women had sought temporary restraining orders against him.
While the orders prohibiting him from contacting the women run for three years, Cahill said he was extending the periods to include the entire five years of Schuck's probation.
Cahill also ordered Schuck to obtain a neuropsychological evaluation, based on his traumatic brain injury as a child that was documented by his mother, Cahill said. "Although it may serve as an explanation for behavior, it does not excuse criminal conduct," Cahill said.
Schuck was again ordered to complete a domestic violence intervention program. According to court records, Schuck has prior convictions for second-degree robbery and violating a temporary restraining order.
In another sentencing Feb. 8, a 25-year-old Makawao man was placed on five years' probation for smashing a vehicle window with a flashlight during what was described as a case of road rage.
Aaron Townsend was given credit for 79 days he previously spent in jail. He was ordered to complete an anger management program.
Townsend had pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of second-degree criminal property damage for the Oct. 3 confrontation that began as he was driving downhill on Haleakala Highway.
When the light turned green at the Haliimaile intersection and the white Honda Accord that Townsend was driving didn't move, another driver "tapped his horn," said Deputy Prosecutor Mark Simonds.
He said Townsend, his passenger and the other driver exchanged words as the vehicles traveled downhill before both vehicles stopped at the Hana Highway intersection.
Townsend told police the other driver had held up his hand as if he were holding a gun before Townsend got out of his car and used the flashlight to smash the driver's side window of the other vehicle.
"It was clearly road rage," Simonds said.
In court, Townsend said the other driver was in the inner lane at the bottom of the highway and had rolled down his passenger window before Townsend approached with the flashlight.
Townsend reported that his action was affected by an incident in his youth when his mother's boyfriend pointed a gun at him.
Noting that Townsend had "run toward the danger" on the highway, 2nd Circuit Judge Richard Bissen said it appeared Townsend was trying to justify what he did.
Bissen said Townsend, while on probation, would not be allowed to use medical marijuana for a past foot injury.