20 years for farmhand in deadly '04 stabbing
His guilty plea to a reduced charge brings the maximum term
A state judge sentenced a Leeward farmworker to 20 years in prison for stabbing to death a co-worker during an argument.
Bailey George Valentine, 26, pleaded guilty in March to the reduced charge of reckless manslaughter under a plea agreement for stabbing Oliver Elias, 42, in the chest at their living quarters at Aloun Farms in November 2004.
Circuit Judge Dexter Del Rosario said 20 years was a lot for Valentine, who has no prior law enforcement contact, but that the minimum, one year in jail, was not enough.
Valentine had gone to trial previously, but the jury was deadlocked, resulting in a hung jury.
Deputy Prosecutor Russell Uehara argued for the maximum 20-year term, saying the facts of the case did not point to self-defense.
Valentine took two knives, one in each hand, and attacked the unarmed Elias as he sat in the makeshift kitchen at their trailer on the farm property, Uehara said. Elias was stabbed twice, with the second stab piercing his heart.
Deputy Public Defender William Bento said the jury grappled at the first trial with differing accounts of what happened that night.
Bailey contends Elias hit him with a golf club first and contributed to what later happened. The two had been drinking and had wrestled with one another earlier but were separated by other co-workers.
Valentine apparently became angry with Elias for messing up the kitchen area that he had cleaned up earlier, Bento said.
Valentine expressed remorse for his conduct and said he had not intended it to happen.
Neither knew each other until they were contracted to work at Aloun Farms. Both are from Micronesia but from different areas, Bento said.