DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Former policeman James Corn, shown in court Wednesday, was convicted yesterday of misdemeanor terroristic threatening.
Ex-officer guilty of threatening
A Waipahu tire dealer testified James Corn threatened to kill him
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A former Honolulu police officer was convicted yesterday of a misdemeanor charge of terroristic threatening over a confrontation at a Waipahu tire shop two years ago.
James Leslie Corn Jr., 28, was initially charged with felony terroristic threatening because he had been accused of making repeated threats to kill the owner of Larry's Discount Muffler Wheel and Tire and to blow or burn down his shop over a damaged tire.
Deputy Public Defender Edward Aquino said Corn, who has maintained from the beginning that he threatened no one, said the misdemeanor verdict shows that jurors didn't believe there were repeated threats.
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A former Honolulu police officer was convicted yesterday of a misdemeanor charge of terroristic threatening in a confrontation at a Waipahu tire shop two years ago.
James Leslie Corn Jr., 28, initially charged with felony terroristic threatening, was accused of making repeated threats to kill the owner of Larry's Discount Muffler Wheel and Tire and to blow up or burn down his shop over a damaged tire.
A Circuit Court jury deliberated all day yesterday before finding Corn guilty of the lesser charge of second-degree terroristic threatening.
Corn faces a maximum year in jail but his attorney said he will ask that he serve his sentence concurrent with a federal prison sentence and that he be given credit for time already served.
Corn is serving a 28-month sentence for a federal firearm case. In 2005, he was arrested for accepting $1,000 to provide protection in a drug deal. He pleaded guilty to a lesser firearms charge after admitting he was addicted to cocaine.
Corn was with the police department for 4 1/2 years and left in August 2006.
Deputy public defender Edward Aquino said Corn, who has maintained from the beginning that he threatened no one, was disappointed in the outcome, but respects the jury's verdict.
That jurors convicted him of a reduced charge shows that they didn't believe there were repeated threats, Aquino said.
The state had charged Corn under a recently passed law that viewed more than one threat related in purpose as a felony punishable by five years in prison.
Corn testified at trial that he never threatened tire shop owner Larry Woodward. At most, he is guilty only of "sticking (a) finger" and swearing at Woodward, the defense argued.
DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Former police officer James Corn Jr., left, was convicted yesterday of misdemeanor terroristic threatening for an incident involving a Waipahu tire shop owner. He appeared in court Wednesday with Deputy Public Defender Edward Aquino.
Woodward testified Corn became upset when he was denied a replacement for a damaged tire.
During the confrontation, Corn said he was a police officer and could do anything he wanted, Woodward said. When pressed to show proof he was a cop, Woodward said Corn grabbed his crotch and indicated that was his badge. Corn eventually left but before he did, he said something to the effect of "This ain't over, I'm going to get you," Woodward said.
Another employee also testified she heard Corn threaten to burn down the building and that he could kill everyone inside.
Later a male caller said he knew that Woodward had called police and that he would be "dead by that evening," Woodward said.
The defense focused on the discrepancies between the statements Woodward and his two employees gave to police the day of and a few days after the incident. Aquino repeatedly questioned why they only mentioned the threats in detail on the stand but not when they gave statements to police the day of the incidents.
The defense provided Corn's cell phone records that showed he made only one call early that morning to the tire shop to say he wanted his tire checked.
Deputy Prosecutor Darrell Wong said just because the witnesses did not detail the threats in their earlier statements doesn't mean they lied in court.
While their details were not all perfectly consistent, the gist of their statements corroborating that threats had been made were, Wong said.
Circuit Judge Steven Alm allowed Corn to be returned to federal custody while awaiting sentencing on Aug. 27.