Driver of stolen car who led police on chase gets five-year prison term

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A car thief who led police on a chase that ended with a multi-vehicle crash on Pali Highway last year was sentenced to five years in prison Wednesday.

Circuit Judge Edwin Nacino ordered Romeo Padilla to serve a mandatory minimum term of one year and two months because he's a repeat offender. He must also pay $2,708.50 in restitution.

Investigators say the 24-year-old was speeding in a stolen Honda, trying to elude officers, when he collided with a Toyota. That impact triggered a chain-reaction crash that seriously injured a 53-year-old man.

Padilla was previously convicted of auto theft, driving without a license, and three counts of unauthorized possession of confidential personal information in an unrelated case.

By committing the new offense, he violated the terms of his probation. The judge on Wednesday revoked his probation and handed down a five-year prison sentence for the prior case as well.

Copyright 2011 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.