CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Ruben Royce pleaded guilty to several criminal counts yesterday in Judge Karl Sakamoto's court.
Robber gets 30-year prison sentence
Ruben Royce held up 'Lost' actor Josh Holloway during one of his many home invasions
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The man who robbed "Lost" television show star Josh Holloway at gunpoint in the actor's Hawaii Kai home pleaded guilty in state court yesterday to charges stemming from that case and three other home-invasion robberies.
Ruben Royce, 23, pleaded guilty to 34 crimes including kidnapping, robbery, burglary and theft.
He has agreed to accept a 30-year prison term when he is sentenced April 29 for those crimes and those connected to a fifth home-invasion robbery.
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Ruben Royce pleaded guilty 17 times in state court yesterday to 34 crimes stemming from four home invasion robberies on Oahu, including the gunpoint robbery of "Lost" television show star Josh Holloway and his wife.
The crimes include kidnapping, first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary, second-degree theft, second-degree assault, driving a stolen car and breaking into a vehicle.
Royce, who turned 23 last month, went on trial last year for a fifth home invasion for which an Oahu jury found him guilty of robbery, burglary, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and two other firearm violations. The jury also found him guilty of reckless endangering rather than attempted murder for firing a handgun at two people.
In exchange for his guilty pleas, the state has agreed that Royce will be sentenced to 30 years in prison for all five home invasions.
Circuit Court Judge Karl Sakamoto scheduled sentencing for April 29.
The plea agreement does not specify a mandatory minimum time Royce must serve behind bars before he is eligible for parole.
Deputy City Prosecutor Maurice Arrisgado said he needs to discuss with his supervisors whether he will ask Sakamoto to set a minimum or leave it up to the Hawaii Paroling Authority. In either case, Arrisgado said, he intends to ask Holloway and his wife to testify before the parole board when it decides Royce's minimum term.
Royce committed all five of the home invasions over a three-week period in September and October 2005.
"Basically he was driving around, looking for fancy cars, nice homes, and picked certain ones as targets for his home invasion," Arrisgado said.
He said that in each of the home invasions, Royce carried a .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun. Royce fired once when he and an accomplice were trying to force their way into an apartment behind Puck's Alley.
Royce pleaded guilty to take responsibility for his actions and hopes to turn his life around, said his lawyer Deputy Public Defender Teri Marshall.
"He just was young and engaged in really bad behavior. And in this short spate of time, it just sort of spiraled around on itself," Marshall said.
When he committed the crimes, Royce was 20 years old. Marshall said drug use played a role in Royce's actions and also suggested he was influenced by accomplices who are older than him.
Arrisgado said the Holloway case is similar to the other home invasions. Royce broke into the Holloways' Hawaii Kai home in the early morning hours through window louvers. He pounded on their bedroom door to let him in. Once they did, Royce threatened the Holloways, took their wallets, including their credit cards, and drove off in their car, Arrisgado said.
Neither Marshall nor Arrisgado knows whether Royce knew he was robbing a television star. However, Royce's mother, who had a temporary restraining order against him, lives on the same street.
Royce also pleaded guilty to violating the restraining order.