Police cellblock fugitive
gets 5 years in prison

The auto thief, 19, was caught
days after the first-ever breakout

A 19-year-old man who was the first to escape from a cellblock at Honolulu police headquarters was sentenced to five years in prison.

Circuit Judge Michael Wilson denied Jessie Dutro's request yesterday for probation and also the state's request for a 10-year extended term.

Dutro was in custody Feb. 17 for an auto theft when he managed to bypass a defective lock by shimmying his cell door open with a plastic identification bracelet and found a set of keys left unattended that he used to open an exit door.

He was recaptured three days later after breaking into and attempting to burglarize the Windward YMCA.

He pleaded guilty in June to various charges stemming from the escape, including breaking into the YMCA, breaking into and stealing a car, and an earlier auto theft.

Prosecutors had sought an extended term, citing the danger Dutro poses to the community based on his criminal history since the age of 15 and failed efforts at rehabilitation.

While the crimes he committed as an adult were mostly property crimes, "he's shown us a definite pattern of criminality over the last five years, with no improvement," said Deputy Prosecutor Darrell Wong.

Dutro had already been adjudicated twice as a juvenile for escaping from the juvenile detention center and the youth correctional facility.

Deputy Public Defender Darcia Forester had asked that Dutro be sentenced to five years probation with one year in jail. She also asked that he obtain early release after nine months to enter a two-year residential substance abuse program.

Dutro, now 20, will have no chance at rehabilitation if sent to Halawa because of his previous escapes, she argued. "If society wants to rehabilitate Jessie Dutro, he needs probation."

Forester also criticized police for "not doing their job."

Dutro apologized to his family and to the Windward YMCA, saying they had been good to him. He said he was ashamed of the crimes he has committed and asked for a chance to show he can be a better person -- "a man, not a stupid kid anymore."

Dutro's escape prompted an inspection of the 10-year-old cellblock and cellblocks at rural substations.

Sixteen locks at the main station were found defective and were replaced, said police spokeswoman Michelle Yu. She could not immediately confirm whether any officers were disciplined.


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