HOPE probation program has seen success but also some high-profile failures
By Allison Schaefers firstname.lastname@example.org
Jan. 20, 2020
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John Kema, a former HOPE probationer, credits the program with helping him get his life back on track. He will be eight years sober in March.
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“Nobody has a crystal ball. When you find something like HOPE, you keep doing it. You know there are going to be failures, but that’s because we are dealing with people that are convicted of a crime.”
The 1st Circuit Court judge launched the HOPE program in 2004
The 28-year-old HOPE probationer was charged with first-degree assault on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest in connection with a Jan. 2 incident where he allegedly tried to push an officer off a residential roof during an attempted escape. In June, CrimeStoppers asked the public to help locate Boter, who had allegedly violated the terms of his probation.
The 29-year-old HOPE probationer was shot and killed by police on his birthday, Jan. 13, 2017. Police allege that Johnson was shot after he was spotted driving a stolen truck at Maleakahana campgrounds. Instead of exiting the vehicle, police allege that Johnson hit a police officer with the truck. At the time of the shooting, Johnson was part of an Oahu Community Correctional Center work furlough program. He had a criminal record with six charges going back to 2014, and in 2016 had been found guilty of robbery and burglary. Johnson’s family disputes the police version and has filed a lawsuit.
The 30-year-old HOPE probationer was shot and killed in November during an incident with police officers after they spotted his car at a Shell gas station on Farrington Road in Kapolei. Five plain-clothed officers, who suspected Kahalehoe of being involved in a rash of armed robberies and possible carjackings, reportedly fired 20 rounds after Kahalehoe allegedly grazed one of their vehicles. Prior to that, Kahalehoe had 17 convictions, including six felony convictions for vehicle break-ins, vehicle theft, drugs and weapon violations.
The 36-year-old was arrested in August 2018 after allegedly walking away from a residential treatment center while awaiting sentencing in connection with the 2015 armed robbery of a 46-year-old soccer mom at Kapiolani Park. Osuna allegedly entered her car from the passenger’s side, wielded a handgun and forced her to drive him around the park, then fled with her jewelry, purse and cellphone. He was found guilty of first-degree robbery, kidnapping and a host of other charges and was sentenced to up to 60 years, although some of the charges have mandatory minimums. Prior to that crime, he had five felony convictions for robbery, promotion of a dangerous drug and unauthorized entry of a motor vehicle.
The 33-year-old former HOPE probationer was shot and killed by Honolulu police Jan. 6 after a traffic stop at Aikahi Gardens. Pearce, an escapee from Laumaka Work Furlough Center, had been missing since Nov. 19. Police allege that he was shot after a struggle with officers over a gun in Pearce’s possession. Pearce had violated probation before. CrimeStoppers issued a call to locate him in 2016 following a bench warrant.
The 33-year old HOPE probationer was shot by police but not killed during a Dec. 1, 2016, incident, at a Mililani Burger King. According to police, Eblacas was riding in a stolen vehicle and was wanted on a contempt of court charge when he was shot. At the time of the incident, he had 16 prior convictions, including drug charges.
The 25-year-old HOPE probationer was charged with robbery in the first degree for a Dec. 12 Mokuleia carjacking incident where he allegedly tried to use a bolt cutter to break a lock box attached to a parked car. He also was charged with unauthorized control over a propelled vehicle for driving a separate vehicle that was stolen. His criminal record includes two felony Class C drug charges and a petty misdemeanor theft charge.
The 24-year-old HOPE probationer was arrested in September 2018 on multiple warrants following a police chase on the Windward side that resulted in a highly publicized crash. Neill-Mesiona allegedly was fleeing police when a truck police believe that he was driving veered off the highway, hit a pole and flipped over multiple times.
The 33-year-old HOPE probationer was shot and killed by police in February 2017. Police allege that they found Sanchez sleeping in a stolen truck with a 19-year-old female companion. When they tried to rouse him, he allegedly drove erratically through the parking lot of an Aiea town-home complex — dragging two officers, and hitting two town-homes and a parked SUV — before police fired. That version has been disputed by Sanchez’s family, who filed a lawsuit. His criminal record includes 18 charges, including a 2002 misdemeanor assault on a police officer.
The 23-year-old HOPE probationer was charged with terroristic threatening for a Dec. 11 incident near Pearlridge where he allegedly attempted to run over a Honolulu police officer who fired his weapon in response. Salas was out on a deferred plea for an earlier car theft conviction.
The 25-year-old HOPE probationer is awaiting trial in the Dec. 7, 2017, death of Telma Boinville, along with codefendent Hailey Dandurand. The victim had been cleaning a Pupukea vacation rental at the time of her death. Police said her body was found inside the vacation rental. She is alleged to have died of blunt and sharp force injuries to her head and sustained 31 injuries to her body. Police found her 8-year-old daughter alive on the upstairs floor of the rental. She had been bound and her mouth ducttaped. Brown has a criminal record going back to 2016, when he was found guilty of disorderly conduct and petty misdemeanor theft.
The 60-year-old HOPE probationer was charged Oct. 3 with first-degree attempted murder, two firearm and restraining order violation charges for allegedly shooting at his ex-girlfriend multiple times near Sand Island. His criminal record has 30 charges going back to 1981, including drug, assault and family abuse charges, along with probation violations.