Prosecuting Attorney Charlene Y. Iboshi announced that on Monday, August 27, 2012, Third Circuit Court Judge Greg K. Nakamura rejected the request by Puna resident Jesse Robert Murray, 38, for a probation sentence and drug treatment, and sentenced Murray to concurrent prison terms following his guilty pleas to one count of burglary in the first degree; one count of burglary in the second degree; three counts of theft in the second degree; four counts of promoting a dangerous drug (methamphetamine) in the third degree; and four counts of possession of drug paraphernalia. Murray was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the burglary in the first degree charge and 5 years in prison for each of the remaining counts with the prison terms to run concurrently. He was also ordered to pay more than $162,830.06 in restitution to his many victims.
Murray asked for probation arguing that prison only taught him to be a better criminal. Judge Nakamura did not find that argument persuasive noting that Murray picked up his first burglary conviction in Delaware when he was 18 years of age and was sentenced to 5 years in prison in Hawai‘i in 2004 for a series of property crimes.
Investigation by the Hawai‘i Police Department revealed that in 2011 and 2012, Murray broke in to a number of buildings and residences in the Puna District and would frequently gain entry by using crowbar type devices to force open doors and windows. He would load up his victim’s vehicle sitting in the garage with as much property as he could fit in the vehicle and drive off. When confronted by a residence with a home surveillance system, Murray disabled the cameras but failed to find the hard drive. Video on that hard drive led to his identification and ultimately his conviction for the crimes described above.
Home and business video surveillance systems with good video resolution are important crime fighting tools. Video surveillance cameras have improved markedly in the last 5 years and upgraded systems help in deterring and solving crime particularly when the hard drive is well hidden or off site.
Burglary in the first degree is a class “B” felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.00 for each offense.
Burglary in the second degree, theft in the second degree, unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, promoting a dangerous drug in the third degree, and possession of drug paraphernalia are all class “C” felonies punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.00 for each offense.