Quantcast

Monday, July 28, 2014         

 Print   Email   Comment | View 26 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

Man gets 6 months in puppy mill case

The ex-manager of a defunct facility could be freed soon with credit for time served

By Nelson Daranciang

POSTED:

<br />Star-advertiser / dec. 6<br />David Lee Becker, left, shown with his lawyer, Tae Won Kim, will receive credit for time served and be freed after being sentenced Wednesday to six months in prison for animal cruelty. He also will not have to reimburse the Hawaiian Humane Society.<br />

A state judge sentenced David Lee Becker, the former manager of a now-defunct dog-breeding facility in Waimanalo, to a six-month jail term Wednesday for 153 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty.

With credit for the time he has already been in custody since his extradition from Las Vegas in June, Becker, 55, could be set free as soon as state prison officials receive the paperwork of the sentence and verify his length of custody and that there are no other cases pending that involve him.

As of 7 p.m. Wednesday, Becker was still in custody at Oahu Community Correctional Center.

"To say we're disappointed is a huge understatement," Pamela Burns, president and chief executive officer of the Hawaiian Humane Society, said of Becker's sentence.

The Humane Society seized 153 dogs living in squalid conditions at the facility in February 2010.

Deputy Prosecutor Janice Futa had asked the judge to sentence Becker to five consecutive one-year jail terms, fine him $306,000 — the maximum $2,000 for each charge — and order him to repay the Hawaiian Humane Society the $370,701 it spent rescuing and caring for the dogs.

"These 153 misdemeanor counts arise not from negligent conduct, your honor, but deliberate and callous conduct designed solely to provide a bottom-line profit for the defendant running this puppy mill," Futa said.

Circuit Judge Glenn Kim told Futa her proposed jail term is a more severe penalty than the maximum five-year prison term for the lowest felony because it would not allow for release on parole.

He also said restitution is not appropriate because the Humane Society is not a direct victim of the animal cruelty. For the same reason, Kim did not allow any of the people who rescued the dogs or who cared for them to address the court for Becker's sentencing.

Kim said Becker saved the state a lot of money when he pleaded no contest two weeks ago to all of the charges against him. Because of the amount of publicity the case has drawn in the more than two years since the seizure of the dogs, he said just picking a jury for trial would have required polling hundreds of potential jurors.

He also said that because the state charged Becker with 153 counts of animal cruelty rather than a single count, which he said was more appropriate, it would have faced considerable problems proving each of the charges at trial.

"What this means is that the trial of this single misdemeanor case, a case less legally serious than that of a person accused of shoplifting a $301 pair of sunglasses, would have almost certainly cost the taxpayers more dollars and consumed more scarce judicial resources than any other trial in recent memory," Kim said.

Burns said Becker's sentence does not recognize the emotional investment it took to rehabilitate the health of the rescued dogs.

Becker did not address the court before Kim sentenced him.






 Print   Email   Comment | View 26 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

COMMENTS
(26)
You must be subscribed to participate in discussions
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may receive a warning, and if you persist with such comments you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.
Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.
Wailuanui wrote:
Judge Kim's decision appears to be a financial rather than judicial analysis. Becker got a light sentence because he saved the taxpayers money by pleading guilty? Judge Kim even chastised the prosecutor for Becker with 153 counts for every animal he mistreated. He wouldn't even allow Humane Society staff and others who rescued the animals to testify at sentencing. He does not deserve to be a judge, and I hope people will speak against his reappointment when his term expires.
on December 20,2012 | 02:57AM
LittleEarl_01 wrote:
Circuit Judge Glenn Kim's time on the bench is now limited. Once he appears for reappointment, I do hope everyone will remember this travesity in sentencing and recommend against his reappointment.
on December 20,2012 | 04:09AM
bender wrote:
It's hard to fathom the judge's logic about victims, and his decisions about restitution as related to victimes. He seems to be saying that since the animals were the victims then Becker should get off scott free. In other words, a victimless crime. It sounds more as if he were looking for a way to exonerate Becker than to mete punishment for the crims he admitted guilt to. It's deicisions like this that give the Hawaii Justice system a black eye.
on December 20,2012 | 04:59AM
brian606 wrote:
If another person is a victim of crime and I give them things to replace their loss, am I entitled to restitution?
on December 20,2012 | 10:25AM
loio wrote:
Talk to lawyers who appear before Judge Kim, most will tell you that he's a very good, conscientious judge.
on December 20,2012 | 05:28AM
PabloWegesend wrote:
yeah, defense lawyers love Judge Kim for the excessive leniency given to violent criminals (ie. Matthew Kupa)
on December 20,2012 | 08:57AM
FrankieT wrote:
I am not buying you conscientious judge thing, this guy got off lightly and will probably be out there somewhere doing the same thing one day. What a jerk!
on December 20,2012 | 10:50AM
soundofreason wrote:
"Circuit Judge Glenn Kim told Futa her proposed jail term is a more severe penalty than the maximum five-year prison term for the lowest felony because it would not allow for release on parole.">> With a 5 yr sentence, he WOULDN'T have BEEN paroled in 6 months!!!
on December 20,2012 | 05:54AM
soundofreason wrote:
""What this means is that the trial of this single misdemeanor case, a case less legally serious than that of a person accused of shoplifting a $301 pair of sunglasses, would have almost certainly cost the taxpayers more dollars and consumed more scarce judicial resources than any other trial in recent memory," Kim said.>>> Then if "tax payer dollars" were a concern then WHY did you not impose ANY fine OR make him pay any restituion that the Humane Society laid out with OUR tax dollar subsidy to HHS. Judge makes NO sense in her OWN reasons. Talks circles. Logic impaired.
on December 20,2012 | 06:02AM
nitpikker wrote:
ok, so if the farm manager gets away with his crime, what about the farm "owners"???
on December 20,2012 | 06:38AM
Leinanij wrote:
Mahalo Linda Lingle for appointing such a bad judge.
on December 20,2012 | 06:46AM
bluebowl wrote:
Ho HO HO Pam Burns.
on December 20,2012 | 06:51AM
Ewaduffer wrote:
Another glowing testimony to the incompetence of so many judges in Hawaii. What a farcical miscarriage of justice.
on December 20,2012 | 07:12AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
It's time for dogs to get assault weapons.
on December 20,2012 | 07:24AM
motorx wrote:
maybe 6 months of confinement in a cage he cannot stand in, a soiled floor of his own making with his food and water in the mix, no human contact, maybe that would begin to show him what he subjected the animals to.
on December 20,2012 | 07:55AM
Leinanij wrote:
That's what I wish for Christmas!
on December 20,2012 | 11:20AM
tw33t808 wrote:
EPIC FAIL!
on December 20,2012 | 08:20AM
saveparadise wrote:
Pay attention Judge! There was a crime committed! This wreaks of a payoff.
on December 20,2012 | 08:33AM
hawaiifisherman wrote:
Doubtful. I'd be surprised if puppy farming (no matter how many corners they cut) is lucrative enough to buy out a judge.
on December 20,2012 | 11:52AM
aomohoa wrote:
I really hope there is a special hell for a monster like this.
on December 20,2012 | 08:36AM
PabloWegesend wrote:
Judge Glenn Kim is the same exact judge who gave a mega-lenient sentence to Matthew Kupa, who beat up Andy Ganigan so bad that he recieved permanent brain damage! Kupa was rewarded with only 18 months in jail and 5 years probation! No surprise Judge Glenn Kim was lenient in this case!
on December 20,2012 | 08:53AM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
This just reinforces that while Hawaii is a terrible place to try to run a good business, it's a great place to run a terrible business.
on December 20,2012 | 09:03AM
808Cindy wrote:
We the People want justice !!! We need Judges who give jail sentences that would make us say wow I'll never do that. This sentence makes us feel like it was a slap on the hand .... You Judge Glenn Kim have failed the publics trust !! Its a sad day.
on December 20,2012 | 09:32AM
Bdpapa wrote:
I'm okay with the sentence but he needs to pay for the bills attached to these animals.
on December 20,2012 | 10:40AM
FrankieT wrote:
I am not buying this light sentence. and I am not buying your statement "very good, conscientious judge" This guy will probably be out there again some day doing the same crime...
on December 20,2012 | 10:52AM
FrankieT wrote:
What a sham, this trial was a sham!
on December 20,2012 | 10:55AM
IN OTHER NEWS
Blogs