Friday, January 22, 1999

Entertainer Feary draws
10-years in prison after
probation revoked

By Debra Barayuga


The attorney for popular island entertainer Bryant "Mackey" Feary said the state is trying to make an example of his client by sending him to prison.

Feary was on five years' probation following his conviction over a September 1996 confrontation with his wife at a Waimalu Shopping Center parking lot.

Acting Circuit Judge Fa'auuga To'oto'o yesterday revoked Feary's probation, saying he had "waived and forfeited" the choices given to him by the courts and sentenced him to 10 years in prison.

Feary, one of the founding members of Kalapana, also received five years probation each on two separate drug offenses, all to run concurrently.

Deputy Prosecutor Maurice Arrisgado said the judge's decision to put Feary behind bars was "totally appropriate."

"It wouldn't be fair to others who blow probation and get sentenced to jail," Arrisgado said. "Just because he's a celebrity, it doesn't mean he shouldn't be treated like everyone else."

William Harrison, Feary's attorney, had argued prison was not the place for Feary, saying he was not a danger to the community, had not committed any new crimes and needed treatment for his ongoing battle with drug abuse and recently diagnosed mental illness.

The state had argued Feary had failed two drug tests while on probation and was arrested for violating a temporary restraining order just a week after the court had given him more time to complete a drug program, Arrisgado said.

Feary was arrested on that charge and posted bail just hours before a scheduled reunion concert with Kalapana at the Waikiki Shell in November.

While Feary has made attempts to seek treatment, he does not follow through, Arrisgado said. "The judge had no choice to send him to prison because (not to) would make a mockery of the courts orders."

Feary had most recently been receiving day treatment services at Queen's Hospital for his ongoing battle with drugs and depression.

He had voluntarily admitted himself to Queen's last October because he was feeling suicidal and was diagnosed with depression, Harrison said. "He didn't know he was depressed; he thought he was withdrawing from drugs."

Feary was convicted just last Tuesday in Family Court for speaking to his daughter on the phone -- a call she had initiated -- causing him to go into a deep depression, Harrison said.

Feary was put on medication and ordered by his doctor to stay at home -- the reason why he failed to report to the Queen's program and resulted in his being discharged from it on Jan. 13, Harrison said. Also, the drug tests Feary had failed was because he was taking an anti-depressant prescribed by his doctor that could at times produce false positive results.

Feary addressed the court, saying he is a reborn Christian and wants to be an example in the community by helping children and others through his music.

He also apologized for his past deeds and said he has also apologized to his wife and family. "I want my life back," he said.

"I swear, I will cause no more trouble to the state of Hawaii."

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