comscore Man gets 6-year prison term for armed holdup at drugstore | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Hawaii News

Man gets 6-year prison term for armed holdup at drugstore

  • COURTESY KAUAI POLICE DEPARTMENT

    Walter Mills:

    He said he considers himself to be nonviolent but admitted he was “guilty as sin” of the crime

A man who said he’s “guilty as sin” of holding up a Kauai pharmacy with a BB gun that employees believed was a real firearm was sentenced Tuesday to about six years in federal prison.

“Normal people don’t get up in the morning and decide to rob a pharmacy,” Walter Mills said at his sentencing hearing in federal court in Honolulu. “There’s clearly something wrong with me.”

He has a severe drug addiction and mental health issues, his defense attorney, Clarence McCurdy Virtue, said.

Mills, 42, pleaded guilty to robbing Kapaa Pharmacy last year. According to a plea agreement, he wore a mask and carried a BB gun, which he pointed at employees. He stole nearly 2,000 pills of OxyContin, oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine and methadone, the court document said.

The pharmacist and technician working that day eventually quit their jobs because of the ordeal, pharmacy owner Kevin Glick said.

“He’s out of pharmacy completely,” Glick said of the pharmacist. “It was very traumatic.”

It’s a small-town, family-owned business, Glick added.

“I just wish him well,” Glick said of Mills. “I hope I never hear from him again.”

Mills is also facing sentencing in state court for a separate Walmart theft case, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jill Otake said.

Mills said he considers himself a nonviolent person, but acknowledged he traumatized people. “I don’t feel good about that,” he said. “What happened was bad. … I’m guilty as sin.”

It’s understandable that seeing a masked Mills racking the slide on the BB gun made the employees fearful, U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson said.

But Mills quickly took responsibility, Watson said. “It really is uncommon for someone to be so perceptive of what they’ve done,” he said.

In addition to the 70 months of imprisonment, Watson also sentenced Mills to three years of supervised release, with conditions including drug testing. Mills must also pay back $1,073.42 for the value of the pills.

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  • A BB-Gun looks like a handgun, to any victim, who must involuntarily surrender their money and valuables. It is the threat, of losing their life.

    It is a violent crime.

  • Homeless shiite. Don’t feed him until he pays for the pills. He has unemployment or disability hidden somewhere. What does Russia, Saudia Arabia, and other countries do to their addicts?

    • Some programs to help homeless are just a waste
      By Andrew Rothstein
      July 20, 2016

      I strongly recommend that people read “The Tragedy of American Compassion” to get a more detailed understanding of what I say below.

      There are four causes of homelessness, three of which are: substance abuse and mental defect, both of which prevent a person from holding a job that would enable him to afford decent housing, and life upset (loss of job, high medical expenses or incapacitation).

      The first two are bad candidates for the cheap housing response because they can’t or won’t maintain the properties or stay in them. People who treat substance abusers know that absent an acknowledgment of their situation and a desire to correct it, substance abusers cannot be cured. As much as people in the business would have us believe otherwise, mental illness also is rarely curable.

      The third is the group that most of the politicians point to as the reason for providing such housing and some of these may actually be helped by it. However, one has to look to the cause of their situation: How many of them didn’t pay attention in school and never learned the skills necessary in our information-age society to earn enough to afford decent housing and set aside sufficient savings or pay for adequate health insurance?

      Government programs are a poor choice because they can’t discriminate between those who really want to cease being homeless and those who don’t.

      Programs proposed to help the homeless (free or low cost housing, free food, ignoring the laws about obstructing public property, failure to prosecute for destruction of private property) have led to the fourth cause of homelessness: bums — people who have made the rational decision to not get saddled with a job in order to pay rent. They’d rather live in tents on property they have converted for their own use.

      By trying to ease the lives of the other three categories, we make it more desirable for this fourth one. Does anyone bother to find out why the people counted in the homeless census are in that situation or where they are from?

      Someone who was in a position to know told me that every summer, the number of people living on the beaches of Kauai balloons as mainland college students fly to Hawaii to spend their free time in paradise. Should we be spending our hard-earned tax dollars supporting them?

      The homeless are a detriment to our society. They leave trash, needles and excrement spread out over the ground. The crime column in the newspaper is replete with crimes committed by persons “of no local address.” They destroy private property by stomping and laying in the landscaping. They deface property: See the graffiti they left behind on the Smith-Beretania Park’s wall before the police finally rousted them.

      Commentary on the homeless exists as far back as the founding years of our country. The homeless will always exist. While we can try to help them, we must realize some programs work and others simply are a waste of resources.

      Andrew Rothstein has been a real estate appraiser in Hawaii for over 40 years; he served on the Downtown Neighborhood Board from 1988 to 1994.

      • Well said, the SA should take your comment and make it a front page article but we all know that here on Giligan’s Island with the one party monopoly that caters to bums would not like to hear the truth.

    • Unfortunately, that cost to incarcerate him will cost the local tax payers almost $90k a year or $540k over the 6 year term. The costs to incarcerate him will far outweigh the $1k theft he committed. He might have committed the crime just to get into FEDERAL prison knowing that in federal prison he will have a fairly good life without the need to work for food, etc.

      They should force these non-violent offenders to forced labor as restitution to society. There are plenty of jobs for them like mining mines, clean up nuclear reactors or be forced take Hilary Clinton out on an intimate date as punishment instead of being another burden on tax payers.

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