Thursday, November 26, 2015         

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Probation violations put street racer away

A man who left the scene of a crash that killed a teenager gets 10 years in prison

By Nelson Daranciang


A 25-year-old Mililani man who received probation for leaving the scene of a street-racing crash that killed his teenage girlfriend is back behind bars.

A state judge revoked the probation of Bernard DeCoito Jr. on Thursday and resentenced him to 10 years in prison.

Deputy Prosecutor L. Adrian Dhakhwa said DeCoito violated the terms of his probation when he drank alcohol, tested positive for marijuana and methamphetamine use, refused to seek substance abuse and mental health treatment, failed to follow a schedule to pay his court costs and fees, and stopped working.

He is also facing trial for alleged unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle.

DeCoito admitted his violations but asked Circuit Judge Karen Ahn for another chance at probation to address his substance abuse addiction.

"This drug problem is kicking me in the butt," he said.

Ahn refused to give DeCoito another chance and sentenced him to the 10 years for leaving the scene of a fatal crash.

DeCoito pleaded guilty to the crime and to second-degree assault in the Feb. 23, 2007, crash that killed 17-year-old Gillian Badua. Another passenger in the car sustained permanent injuries. The driver, 25-year-old Justin Amorin, is serving a 10-year prison term for second-degree negligent homicide and second-degree assault.

DeCoito was not involved in the crash, police said. He was in another car racing with Amorin on Lanikuhana Avenue in Mililani. He witnessed the crash from behind, slowed to look at the wreckage, in which Badua, his girlfriend, was pinned, then drove off.

Ahn sentenced him in January 2009 to five years of probation, including 18 months behind bars. She also ordered him to pay $1,460 in court costs and fees.

DeCoito will get credit for the 18 months in his 10-year prison term.

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