Circuit Court Judge Kathleen N.A. Watanabe sentenced 31-year-old Shawn Fajardo of Kapa'a on Friday to five years incarceration for an incident that occurred in July of 2012.
Prosecutors say Fajardo stole and forged a check belonging to an elderly woman. The victim hired Fajardo last year to help her move, at a time when she was caring for her ailing husband.
The woman spoke at Friday's sentencing of how she carried the burden of the theft alone, as she feared that relaying the news to her husband would further deteriorate his health. She stated that she became less trusting and more fearful since the incident, adding that Fajardo acted as though he was helping her out of "love and aloha" while at the same time stealing from her.
The victim also spoke of how the crime not only affected her, but others in her neighborhood.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Rebecca Vogt argued that prison was the only acceptable sentence for an individual who preys on the most vulnerable members of our community. She stated that Fajardo failed to take advantage of the resources provided to him as a graduate of Kaua'i Drug Court, as this incident occurred a little over a year after he completed the program in April of 2011.
The state emphasized that the Fajardo had multiple opportunities at rehabilitation programs but failed to apply what he learned in his life.
Fajardo changed his plea to guilty to the charge of Theft in the Second Degree on May 15 pursuant to a global plea agreement that resolves a total of three felony cases. On July 22, Fajardo pleaded guilty to numerous counts in two other cases. He pleaded guilty to Burglary in the First Degree in a case in which he broke into a neighbor’s home and stole jewelry while she was gone.
He also pleaded guilty to one count of Theft in the Fourth Degree, seven counts of Forgery in the Second Degree, seven counts of Identity Theft in the Second Degree, four counts of Unauthorized Computer Access in the Second Degree, eight counts of Theft in the Second Degree, four counts of Use of Computer in the Commission of a Separate Crime, six counts of Unauthorized Possession of Confidential Personal Information, two counts of Identity Theft in the Third Degree, and one count of Theft in the Third Degree.
That case includes additional thefts from the same victim involved in Friday's sentencing totaling more than $18,000.
He has been incarcerated at Kaua'i Community Correctional Center since Dec. 31, 2012 in lieu of $50,000 bail.
Prosecuting Attorney Justin F. Kollar praised the sentence saying, "It certainly brings us no joy to see a young man sent to prison; however, in this case, where Mr. Fajardo was preying on the vulnerable and trusting, the sentence is appropriate. Our elders deserve our respect and support, as well as our protection. We will continue to do all we can to ensure they have a safer community to live in."