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Kauai youth pastor sentenced in beating

By Star-Advertiser staff and wire

LAST UPDATED: 01:01 a.m. HST, Jan 10, 2014

A 50-year-old Kauai youth pastor was sentenced Wednesday to 30 days in jail for beating a tenant whom he believed had been giving marijuana to his foster children three years ago, a Kauai newspaper reported.

James Rodelo, a youth pastor at Christian Missionary Retreat in Anahola, also was sentenced to five years of probation and ordered to serve 400 hours of community service in a Kauai Circuit Court Thursday, The Garden Island reported.

In June 2011, Rodelo confronted James Heron, 38, after the pastor had been told by his children that Heron was giving them marijuana and getting high with them, the newspaper said.

At that time, Rodelo was allowing Heron to stay at the youth camp he ran in Anahola. When Rodelo asked Heron to leave the rental the two argued and a physical alternation ensued.

Heron, who was not present in court Wednesday, suffered serious bodily injury from a beating that included a knee to the face, according to County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Shauna Lee Cahill. The injuries required reconstructive surgery.

Rodelo was originally charged with first-degree burglary and first-degree assault. The prosecution amended the charges to first-degree terroristic threatening in a plea offer that Rodelo accepted on Sept. 10.

Kauai Circuit Judge Kathleen Watanabe sentenced Rodelo to six months in jail, but suspended all but 30 days. She also granted a motion for deferred acceptance which will keep Rodelo's conviction off his record after he completes probation.

Heron also has filed a negligence and injury civil suit in May against Beachview Realty for Rodelo's actions as a property manager. In the civil suit, Heron said he woke and found Rodelo in his apartment and accused him of striking in the face and stomach, causing disfigurement and disability. 

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kaiakea wrote:
Hmmm. When the police and the rest of society cannot do anything to protect one's children from drugs and drug dealers, what else can one do but take matters into one's own hands?
on January 9,2014 | 03:57PM
Jerry_D wrote:
Kids come home and tell their dad that someone is turning them on to drugs. So what else was this father supposed to do...call the cops? Ha! What a joke! All they would do is say, "We can't do anything without physical proof" and an accusation from kids is NOT proof enough for a conviction. This guy did the ONLY thing that would stop the perp -- therefore, it was the right thing -- and not only is he serving time in jail for it, but the drug pusher is even looking to financially capitalize from this whole by filing a lawsuit! That's AFU!
on January 9,2014 | 04:03PM
inHilo wrote:
Yes, why should we have evidence before we break in and bust up someone? We know kids never lie or exaggerate to their parents, right?
on January 10,2014 | 05:49AM
eoe wrote:
Exactly, everybody wants vigilante and mob justice until they are on the wrong side of it.
on January 10,2014 | 06:53AM
Jerry_D wrote:
James Rodelo, you did the right thing, brah! Your kids better be grateful of the fact that their foster daddy is doing time in jail for them.
on January 9,2014 | 04:06PM
inHilo wrote:
Yes, he's setting a fine example.
on January 10,2014 | 05:51AM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Inhilo, you toke yea.
on January 10,2014 | 08:24AM
kailua000 wrote:
Rodelo, good for you, you stood up to the slime. He'll get rewarded for his bad work but at least you took him off the street for a little while.
on January 9,2014 | 05:12PM
onevoice82 wrote:
The judge obviously is sympathetic to the father's plight, about as lenient as he could be! Let's hope the civil case is thrown out of court!
on January 10,2014 | 04:35AM
Bdpapa wrote:
A criminal gets lickin' and the good guy gores to jail. Something terribly wrong here.
on January 10,2014 | 05:00AM
Dannerdo wrote:
Mr. Heron might think again before he tries to pot party with children. This rough justice is understandable. Lately people in the news have complained about having hurt feelings, being injured by unkind words, and have labeled name calling "hate speech." This father took a very direct and concrete action to ensure the safety of his kids. Good for him.
on January 10,2014 | 05:11AM
HanabataDays wrote:
A perfect illustration of the truth of the moral, "Don't take the law into your own hands". And perhaps you commenters above would refer me to the lines in the article that say Rodelo had gone to the police with his info and they didn't do anything about it? Somehow I must've missed that part of the story -- or y'all are purely speculating absent a shred of evidence.
on January 10,2014 | 05:27AM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
So what happens to this man as far accountability goes when he gave drugs to minor's?
on January 10,2014 | 09:56AM
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