Bail reduced for robbery suspect


By JOHN BURNETT

Tribune-Herald staff writer

A judge had reduced bail for a 23-year-old Hilo woman accused of holding up a downtown clothing store at gunpoint.

On Monday, Hilo District Judge Harry Freitas reduced the bail for Tia Nohealani Menino from $28,750 to $18,750. Menino remained in custody at Hawaii Community Correctional Center late Monday afternoon.

Menino is charged with first-degree robbery, use of a firearm in commission of a separate felony, first-degree terroristic threatening, third-degree theft, two counts of fourth-degree theft, and three other firearms violations.

Menino waived a preliminary hearing, and Freitas ordered her to appear for arraignment and plea before Hilo Circuit Judge Greg Nakamura on Feb. 15 at 8 a.m.

Police say Menino used a .22-caliber revolver to hold up Rainbow-Jo and Tiny Bubbles boutiques on Keawe Street shortly before noon on Thursday. Menino reportedly stole $237, but the store clerk, Rachel Conder, reportedly took photos of the truck Menino drove away in and its license plate. Police arrested Menino about 40 minutes later on Makaala Street.

Menino’s attorney, Kanani Laubach, asked the judge to reduce bail to $14,000.

“Looking at the pre-trial bail report … they recommend supervised release,” she said. “Based upon that, and also because my client’s a 23-year-old female who has no record of arrest — these are her first arrests, ever — we are asking the court for the reduction in the bail.”

Deputy Prosecutor Sylvia Wan argued against the reduction, describing the original bail as “the appropriate amount in this manner.”

“The state would also note that the defendant is charged with two Class A felonies,” she said. “… There were two serious crimes, as well as a firearm used in the commission of these crimes.” Both first-degree robbery and use of a firearm in a felony are punishable by a 20-year prison term.

The judge told Menino he would reduce her bail “over the state’s objections … because your attorney did good.”

Because you don’t have a prior history, or anything else, I’m reducing it,” Freitas said. “But I’m not giving you supervised release because, to be honest, the charges you have don’t warrant that.

Conditions of bail include that Menino not own, use or possess alcohol, illicit drugs or drug paraphernalia; submit to random drug testing; obtain a substance abuse assessment and follow any recommended treatment; obtain a mental health assessment and follow any recommended treatment; be gainfully employed or enrolled in an educational or vocational training program; remain 300 yards away from Rainbow-Jo; not own, use or possess firearms, ammunition or other deadly weapons; and not contact, threaten or harm Conder.

Email John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitribune- herald.com.

 

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