HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A man whose wife died under suspicious circumstances in San Diego learned his punishment in a shoplifting case in Honolulu Tuesday.
The death of Fumiko Simoneau, a native of Japan who had inherited a significant amount of money, remains unsolved. Anthony Simoneau denies any wrongdoing.
According to statements contained in a San Diego police affidavit, Anthony Simoneau created a web of lies that cast suspicion on him. But authorities have not arrested him in connection with his wife's death.
On Tuesday, he called his unrelated theft case a "$395 mistake."
With members of the Japanese media seated in the courtroom and their cameras jamming the hallway outside, it was not your typical sentencing for shoplifting.
"I just want to apologize for this frenzy," the convicted thief told the judge. "I'm a broken man right now to be honest with you. I just am totally overwhelmed."
Simoneau, 43, has been under the spotlight since being questioned by San Diego police about his wife's murder.
Fumiko Simoneau's body was found buried in a San Diego desert, but wasn't identified until three-and-a-half years later. During that period, her husband reportedly continued to tell people that she was alive and well.
He has not been charged in that case.
"The last time I checked, we live in the United States of America," Anthony Simoneau said. "I'm missing my wife and this just has to stop."
In May, after moving to Hawaii, Simoneau was caught trying to steal a $395 bag from Nordstrom. He pleaded guilty to felony theft.
Prosecutors wanted jail time. Simoneau asked for a chance to keep the crime off his record.
"I don't pose a threat to society," he said. "I've done everything that the court has asked me to do and then some."
The judge denied his deferral request and sentenced him to probation.
"Given your lack of a criminal history and your employment, as well as your performance on supervised release, I am not going to be imposing a period of incarceration today," Michael Wilson, Circuit Court judge, said.
After sidestepping jail, Simoneau checked in with the probation office with reporters still on his heels. At one point, he emerged and chastised the media.
"What you're doing is just unconscionable," he said. "I miss my wife very much and I will state, for the record, I did not kill my wife. With that being said, will you please vacate the building because you're making my process very, very difficult."
The judge set a review hearing in 12 months to make sure that Simoneau is following the conditions of his probation.