WAILUKU - A Lahaina man was sentenced Thursday to a 10-year prison term for the robbery of a man who was put in a chokehold and had his waistpack stolen near the Lahaina Jodo Mission last year.
As a repeat offender with prior felony convictions in two cases, Jayson Auld, 23, was ordered to serve at least six years and eight months of the term before being eligible for parole.
"Since 2003, his behavior, his actions, the severity have been escalating," said Deputy Prosecutor Carson Tani.
"People have tried to help him. People have tried to change his behavior. Nothing's worked."
In May, a 2nd Circuit Court jury found Auld guilty as charged of second-degree robbery.
The robbery was reported the evening of Oct. 5 while Rey Tadena was doing volunteer work near the Lahaina Jodo Mission.
Tadena said a car driven by Amber Gonnelly pulled up, and he was approached by her then-boyfriend and passenger Auld, who asked for the rest of the money owed for a pool cue stick that Tadena had bought from Gonnelly in September.
Even though Tadena learned that the cue stick had been stolen and returned it to its owner, he gave Auld the $40 he still owed before Auld put him in a chokehold and signaled passenger Keola Chung-Dyson to grab Tadena's waistpack, Tadena testified at Auld's trial.
Tani had sought consecutive sentencing for Auld to have him serve the 10-year prison term separately from five-year prison terms he is serving in two other cases.
But 2nd Circuit Judge Joseph Cardoza ordered concurrent sentencing that he said would give Auld a chance to be considered for release on parole when he's approaching age 30.
"Whether he'll have learned his lesson remains to be seen," Cardoza said. "Only time will tell."
Auld's attorney, Ben Summit, had asked the judge not to impose the mandatory-minimum term for Auld, citing disparity in his sentence compared to those of his two co-defendants.
Chung-Dyson, 36, was placed on probation, while Gonnelly, 19, has had the robbery charge against her reduced to misdemeanor third-degree theft.
"The circumstances were not severe. Mr. Tadena refused medical treatment," Summit said.
But Cardoza said Auld's case was different from that of his co-defendants. Auld has had "considerable contact with the criminal justice system," Cardoza said.
When Auld was arrested for the robbery, he had been on probation for about a year in two felony cases for unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug and possessing drug paraphernalia.
Cardoza said reports indicated that Auld "has not demonstrated a likelihood to succeed."
"He's going to have to make a dramatic turnaround to make that happen," Cardoza said.
Auld is awaiting sentencing in another case for unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle.
* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.