Thursday, April 15, 1999

Big Isle fisherman nets
a creative sentence
on gun charge


By Susan Kreifels


It was fishy from start to end.

Geoffrey Walker, a 52-year-old fisherman from the Big Island, was busted at the airport a year ago for carrying a revolver in his bag when it went through the X-ray machine, the state said.

He pleaded not guilty last November, then changed the plea to no contest a month later, said Deputy Prosector Peter Marrack.

Walker, who had no criminal record, told Circuit Judge Sandra Simms that he kept a gun on his commercial fishing boat for safety in case the crew had to deal with a shark or large billfish. Walker didn't want to leave the weapon on the boat because he feared it would be stolen, and he forgot to take it out of his bag, Marrack said.

This week, Simms granted a defense motion for deferred acceptance, meaning that if Walker complied with his sentence and a six-month probation, his record would be wiped clean. That should be easy for at least part of the sentence, depending on the catch: Simms ordered Walker to give 500 pounds of fish to charity.

Marrack said he opposed the deferral because of the seriousness of the charge -- not keeping a pistol or revolver in a proper place.

As for the fish-giving, "it's an awful lot of fish," Marrack said.

Deputy public defender Reuel Toyama said Walker had donated fish before when he couldn't sell it. Since Walker's gun incident was not criminally motivated, Toyama said the sentence was "highly appropriate. Otherwise it (fish) would go to waste."

City Prosecutor Peter Carlisle said he has supported some "creative sentencing" such as publicly shaming criminals by making them stand on street corners holding apologies on placards.

As for the fish sentence, "it's a strange one. I suppose it will make a big difference if it's guppies or something people want to eat."


Man pleads guilty in escort case

Rodney D. King, 33, has pleaded guilty to a charge of transporting a juvenile for prostitution.

Steven Alm, U.S. attorney, said an undercover investigator contacted the Cherry Patch escort service to arrange for an escort to visit a Waikiki hotel room.

King was later seen driving up to the hotel with a female, age 16, who then got out of the car and proceeded to the room, while King waited in the parked car, Alm said.

After entering the hotel room, the girl reportedly offered to engage in sex with the undercover investigator for $300, Alm said, and he then arrested her.

During the investigation, three juveniles, ages 15-17, said they were employed by King as prostitutes in the Cherry Patch escort service.

King faces up to five years imprisonment.

He will be sentenced Aug. 16 by U.S. District Judge Alan C. Kay.

The investigation was conducted by the Honolulu Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division.

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