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Robber apologizes, says she 'just did something stupid'

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 01:00 p.m. HST, Dec 03, 2013

HILO >> A woman convicted of using a handgun to rob a Hilo clothing store of $257 was sentenced Monday to 10 years in prison.

Tia Nohealani Menino, 24, pleaded guilty in October to second-degree robbery and keeping a pistol in an illegal place, the Hawaii Tribune Herald reported. Prosecutors dropped charges of first-degree robbery and using a firearm in the commission of a felony.

The charges stem from a robbery just before noon Jan. 31 at Rainbow-Jo women's clothing boutique and Tiny Bubbles baby clothing boutique, which have different owners but share space.

Clerk Rachel Conder told police a woman entered, brandished a handgun and demanded cash from Rainbow-Jo's cash register. Conder handed over $137.

The woman demanded money from Conder's purse and "wanted to know who she was." Conder gave the woman $20 from her purse but refused to give her name. Conder handed over another $100 from Tiny Bubbles' cash register, she told police.

As the robber drove off in a pickup, Conder took a cellphone photo and recorded the vehicle's license plate. She identified Menino from a photo lineup, according to court documents.

Menino told police she "just did something stupid" because she owed her boyfriend money.

Conder was traumatized by the robbery and quit her job at the boutique, said deputy prosecutor Shannon Kagawa. She said the state was satisfied with the sentence.

Menino apologized at the hearing.

"I apologize to the victim and I apologize to the state," Menino said. "I will follow through with whatever consequences the state gives me."

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cojef wrote:
Do you believe her? Hope she straightens up.
on December 3,2013 | 12:19PM
RYMATS wrote:
Because prosecutors allow crimes involving guns to pass with a lenient penalty is one of the reasons there is too much criminal activity involving guns. Any crime involving a gun needs to be prosecuted to the maximum extent of the law, no exceptions. Legitimate, law abiding gun owners like ourselves become the targets of indiscriminate and unjust threats of confiscation because of our courts lenient attitude. If you pick up a gun to commit a crime, then you must suffer the penalties.
on December 3,2013 | 12:39PM
AlexandriaB wrote:
Agree completely. You point a gun, there's a definite implication that you mean to do that innocent person bodily harm. Have you ever had a gun pointed at you? It's scary beyond belief. It's death staring you in the face & you just know you're gonna die! The clerk that was "traumatized" will never be the same. My heart goes out to her.
on December 3,2013 | 01:35PM
bumba wrote:
Agree 100%
on December 4,2013 | 03:43AM
kuewa wrote:
She's probably mostly sorry that she got caught, and for being lolo enough not to know how to avoid getting caught.
on December 3,2013 | 01:39PM
whs1966 wrote:
I am sure this was at least the 2nd stupid thing she has ever done; the first was getting involved with a boyfriend who scared her so much that she would rob a store. But then, the boyfriend is probably not too sharp for being involved with her. Hmmm...they must belong together.
on December 3,2013 | 04:36PM
RetiredWorking wrote:
whs, if she serves 10 years, her bf will be long gone and will have 4 more kids from 3 different women.
on December 3,2013 | 08:23PM
koki wrote:
People need to realize that the state dropped the charges of robbery 1st and using a firearm in commission of a felony which would of required her by law to serve mandatory time in jail because a firearm was used. She was only convicted of the robbery 2nd charge which requires the suspect to use physical force but without a dangerous weapon. With the solid evidence against her, the prosecution should have went with the higher charge. Tia will be out of jail in two years or less to victimize others...
on December 3,2013 | 09:53PM
ejkorvette wrote:
Give her a second chance. community service, employment, and let her run for Public office. The few hard working, tax paying, legal citizens in the State of Hawaii are help up everday by the Crooked Politicians. Ripping off the people. This young lady is no different, besides the fact that she was give harsh jail time. Let her go.
on December 4,2013 | 05:48AM
joseph007 wrote:
Yea... finally a stiff sentence for this creep.
on December 4,2013 | 07:15AM
paniolo wrote:
She did this because she owed her boyfriend money. You think her boyfriend going wait for her to get out of jail? I don't. He going move on and look for another lolo.
on December 4,2013 | 08:00AM
saveparadise wrote:
Now if the judicial system would make sure that these penalties are served so that the criminals fully realize the crime. Otherwise the revolving door will continue to recycle the low lifes to victimize and repeat. Insanity will continue.....
on December 4,2013 | 08:09AM
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