By CHELSEA JENSEN
A 19-year-old Kailua-Kona man Friday was sentenced to serve a decade in prison for a series of crimes, including the 2010 robbery of two visitors.
Jesse Keola Mamac was sentenced by 3rd Circuit Court Judge Elizabeth Strance. In addition to the term for robbery, he must also concurrently serve terms of 10 years for being an accomplice to robbery, five years for being accomplice to assault and car theft — and pay $1,124 in restitution and fees.
Mamac was also concurrently sentenced for a variety of charges and must pay an additional $1,220 in restitution and fees in connection with a 2010 series of car thefts and other crimes.
“The idea of prison is fair because you dug this hole for yourself and now you have to dig yourself out, and how long it takes you to dig out will be up to you,” Strance said before handing down the sentence. “It is a huge decision to send somebody to prison, and it is made particularly so when the person is barely old enough to be sent there.”
Before sentencing, Mamac apologized to the victims, expressed remorse and said he would own up to his “wrongdoings.”
“I know I should be punished,” he said. “Despite the outcome of today, I will not be discouraged, and I will not lose hope in myself. I have all my faith in your decision, your honor, and I believe something good will come out of it. I hope someday, if given the opportunity, I’ll be able to prove I can live a healthy and successful life.”
Mamac on Wednesday pleaded guilty to first-degree burglary, second-degree robbery, two counts of second-degree theft, credit card theft and five counts of unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle in connection with three cases. He also pleaded guilty to being an accomplice to robbery and assault in the cases. The pleas are part of an agreement that dropped a first-degree robbery charge to a class B felony.
The robbery, car theft and being an accomplice charges stem from the June 11, 2010, armed robbery of two visitors from Tennessee near a coffee processing company on Napoopoo Road, according to police records. Mamac, who was 17 at the time, and another man, Matthew Alani, were eventually arrested and charged.
The man and woman reported they had been walking on a tour path when two men confronted them. Mamac grabbed the woman from behind, threatened her with a knife, demanded money and grabbed her purse. The second suspect demanded money from the husband. When the man said he didn’t have any, he was struck across the face before the two men fled in an older model Honda Civic.
The male victim was taken to Kona Community Hospital where he was treated for injuries and released. The woman was not injured. According to Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Kaua Jackson, the robbery was undertaken for gas money.
The other offenses Mamac pleaded guilty to Wednesday stem from cases that began in early 2010 and continued for about six months, according to Jackson. Mamac was breaking into homes and stealing vehicles.
Mamac had faced 27 counts including the class A felony first-degree robbery.
Alani was indicted in April 2011 in connection with the visitor robbery. He faced second-degree robbery, second-degree assault, fourth-degree theft, first-degree conspiracy to commit robbery and first-degree terroristic threatening.
He pleaded guilty to the second-degree robbery charge in October 2011 and was sentenced to five years probation with conditions that he serve 18 months incarceration, with credit for time served, pay restitution and perform 200 hours of community service.
Email Chelsea Jensen at email@example.com.