Mackey Feary:

Hopes to perform again
because “that’s what I do.
It’s a part of me.”

Former Kalapana
musician given chance
at rehab

A judge expresses confidence
Mackey Feary can overcome drug use

By Linda Hosek

Forty-one-year-old Mackey Feary has been a role model as a musician, but now he hopes he will stand for someone who beat drugs and domestic abuse.

"If anybody is involved in drugs, I'd say to quit as soon as possible," Feary said yesterday after he was sentenced for a Sept. 4 incident in which he smashed his wife's car window and had possession of drugs. "Speaking personally, it ruins your life."

Circuit Judge Herbert Shimabukuro followed a January plea agreement between Feary, a former crystal methamphetamine user, and the state. It called for a year in prison, but permitted early release to a drug treatment program.

"Good luck and I think everything will be fine with you," Shimabukuro said to a somber Feary. "The court has confidence you're going to do well."

Shimabukuro also put Feary, who pleaded guilty to criminal property damage and two drug offenses, on probation for five years. He faced at least 10 years for the offenses.

The state had charged him with first-degree robbery but dropped the charge as part of the plea agreement.

Released Wednesday after more than six months in custody in lieu of $150,000 bond, Feary will enter Victory Ohana, a nonprofit Christian organization to help former inmates lead productive lives.

The Kalihi Street resident said he gave his life over to Jesus Christ, "who has the power to change from the inside out."

He said he found Christ before he entered prison, adding it was "about an hour or two after the incident."

Feary said he deeply regretted his actions, especially to his wife, Dana, 36. He said he and Dana, who had separated at the time of the incident after two years of marriage, had reconciled.

A former member of the group Kalapana, Feary said he hoped to play again in public. He said he never left music, adding: "That's what I do. It's a part of me."

In the incident, police said Feary demanded money from his then estranged wife at Waimalu Shopping Center, but she refused.

Feary smashed her car's window with a hammer and rammed her car with his. Police said they found drugs and drug paraphernalia on him.

Police said Feary tried to commit suicide at the Pearl City police substation the day after he was arrested. He wrapped his T-shirt around his cell door and tried to hang himself.

Officers cut him down and took him to Kapiolani Hospital at Pali Momi, where he was treated.

William Harrison, Feary's attorney, said his client also had completed an anger management class and that he had been a model inmate.

"He understands what happened," Harrison said. "He also understands that his stature for some is as a role model."

Drug court program
gives ‘renewed life’

By Rod Ohira

On the road back from hell, there's a sign that reads "Ho'ola Hou."

It means "renewed life," and for Patrick Souza, Douglas Araujo, Gina Thompson and William Purdy, the Hawaii "drug court" program's theme defines their new direction.

A year after choosing court-monitored treatment over jail, they've turned their lives around by staying drug-free.

In ceremonies tonight at the Kamehameha Schools Auditorium, drug court will honor its first graduating class, which includes Souza, Araujo, Thompson and Purdy.

The program offers addicts who are arrested for nonviolent crimes the choice of going to jail or accepting treatment. If they complete treatment, which takes nine to 13 months, the court will dismiss charges against them.

"I looked at my life and realized I had never completed anything until now," the 28-year-old Souza said. "I didn't even finish high school.

"I was doing drugs to escape; it was the easy way out, but it never got me nothing," added Souza, who began smoking marijuana when he was 8 years old.

Today, Souza is on track to earn a General Education Diploma from Waianae High School, has a steady job and is looking forward to visiting his three children on the mainland.

More important, he has been drug-free since Valentine's Day 1996 when he entered the drug court program.

Souza's treatment required him to attend three-hour meetings three times a week. He also agreed to random drug testing three times a week.

"The program taught me to look at my thinking and how it led me to my actions," Souza said.

"I had never taken responsibility for my actions before - I wouldn't pay bills on time, or show up for work late. But here I had to be responsible," he added.

"When I started, I had very little self-respect for myself. Now my confidence is high, and I'm striving to get some goals done."

Instead of dealing cocaine on a Kalihi street corner to support a $3,000-a-day crystal methamphetamine habit, 25-year-old Araujo is currently holding a job and helping others in the drug court program to stay clean.

After being accepted into the program, Araujo took a wrong turn that nearly cost him his second chance. The Mayor Wright Housing resident was back on the streets when drug court program coordinator Darin Kawazoe and counselor Ramona Aipopo spotted him one day near Akepo Lane.

"They talked to me about not showing up in court, and Mona told me it was time to change my life," Araujo said. "She even came with me to court."

Araujo spent a day at the Oahu Community Correctional Center before entering a drug treatment program at Sand Island.

"I wanted to leave after the first week," he said. "But I started thinking how Darin and Mona came to get me and about the second chance I was getting.

"After the first month, I saw a lot of guys I knew from the street doing good, so I stuck with it," Araujo added.

"I'm a happier guy now and I feel better about myself."

Araujo earned a GED at Farrington High and is committed to helping the drug court program in his spare time.

"I made a commitment to Mona to give something back," he said.

Thompson, 34, said she is a substance abuser with a manic-depressive condition who had a $1,000-a-day drug habit.

"A year ago, my life was falling apart," Thompson said. "I was homeless and I couldn't stay clean."

A big turning point for her occurred in January.

Thompson had been doing well in the drug court program but checked herself into Queen's Hospital three months ago.

She said that because she was doing well and staying clean, she was able to recognize when she went into the manic stage of her illness.

That might not have happened a year ago or if she were sitting in jail serving out a sentence.

"There are a lot of people sitting in jail that could be helped if they wanted it," said Thompson, who is pursuing a college degree in medical office administration. "I'm happy I got the help."

Purdy, 27, was the first drug court program client. He was assigned in January 1996.

"The first time I tried to steal something (to support a crystal meth habit), I got busted," Purdy said. "I spent one day at OCCC, and that was enough for me.

"As a first-time offender with no prior arrests, I got into the program," he added. "I just felt anything was better than jail."

Purdy struggled at first but made it through the program.

"For me, I know when the situation (to use drugs) comes up, I need to find a safe place to go and utilize the support system," he said.

The first graduating class has 11 members, Kawazoe said. A second group of 15 members will be graduating in May.

Of the 157 clients accepted into the program since January 1996, only 26 were terminated.

"We expected to retain 70 percent, but we're retaining more than 80 percent, so that's very good," Kawazoe said.

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