WAILUKU - A man who said he was "frustrated" when he walked away from a jail work detail at Lahaina Civic Center was sentenced Tuesday to a five-year prison term for an escape charge.
Henry "Hana" Rosenthal, 34, had asked for a chance on probation, saying he wanted to prove he was ready to make changes in his life.
"I'm not my old self," Rosenthal said in court. "I sorry, your honor, I gave up on myself. All I waiting for is this opportunity."
Rosenthal had been 13 months away from the expiration of his 10-year prison term for first-degree burglary when he walked away from the work detail Nov. 8, 2012, said his attorney David Wiltsie.
After having trouble finding a job, "I was frustrated," Rosenthal said.
After leaving the work detail, Rosenthal flagged down a passing car and got a ride into town, Wiltsie said. Rosenthal changed his clothes and hid in fields and the mountains before turning himself in within about 36 hours.
Since his arrest, Rosenthal has been held in high-security conditions with little opportunity to participate in programs, Wiltsie said. Rosenthal's 10-year prison term expired Dec. 8.
In arguing for a sentence of probation, Wiltsie said it would help Rosenthal "integrate back into the world" after having been incarcerated for 15 years.
"Henry is going to need some assistance in getting back on his feet, getting a job, moving forward with life," Wiltsie said.
But Deputy Prosecutor Jerrie Sheppard said the prison term was appropriate.
"There is no justification for probation here," she said. "The defendant's criminal history is lengthy - lots of felonies, lots of opportunities that the defendant had for probation and parole."
She said Rosenthal has had his probation and parole revoked and failed to complete a drug treatment program while in prison.
A report indicated that during his escape, Rosenthal used marijuana and methamphetamine, Sheppard said.
Rosenthal had pleaded no contest to second-degree escape.
In imposing the prison sentence, 2nd Circuit Judge Joseph Cardoza said he hoped Rosenthal would pursue drug treatment and apply what he learns to his life.
"You got to reconstruct your life," Cardoza told Rosenthal. "You got a huge substance abuse problem and a problem with criminal behavior. It won't do you any good to get out and get yourself back into trouble."
* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at email@example.com.