Judge gives career criminal another sentencing reprieve, but also offers a warning

Judge gives career criminal another sentencing reprieve, but also offers a warning
Updated: Aug. 2, 2017 at 3:02 PM HST
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(Image: Traffic camera)
(Image: Traffic camera)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The career criminal who led Honolulu police on a wild, 100-mph car chase last year just got another break.

Sentencing for Bryson Bagio was delayed for a third time Wednesday.

After six months in a rehabilitation facility, a Honolulu judge allowed him another three months.

In court, Bagio told Judge Faauuga Tootoo that drug addiction was to blame for his years of criminal activity and almost six months in rehab is helping him turn his life around.

The 25-year-old is a known car thief who took police on multiple high-speed chases. One on the windward side injured an elderly woman.

Bagio faces sentencing on four charges related to the car chases, including an islandwide chase that ended in a multiple-vehicle crash on the H-1 Freeway.

The chase lasted two hours and zigzagged across Oahu, ending in Aiea when he hit multiple cars stuck in rush hour traffic on the H-1 Freeway.

Bagio then got out and started to run, scaling a wall; he seriously injured himself jumping onto a side street.

Bagio has been in rehab at Habilitat, an inpatient facility, since February.

His attorney, Richard Gronna, said Bagio is now a changed man and should continue the treatment plan instead of going to prison.

"The underlying reasons for these crimes happening is purely ... due to his addiction and the addiction that led to the poor choices," Gronna said.

Tootoo interrupted Gronna at that point, saying Bagio had opportunities in the past to get help but chose not to. "Now all of a sudden he wants to go to the treatment program," the judge said.

Bagio responded: "I regret everything I did. I was under the influence of drugs and this place right here, teach (sic) me a lot about myself."

A representative from Habilitat was also in court to testify that Bagio is progressing and is almost finished with the first phase of the treatment program.

He told the judge that Bagio will begin the second phase soon, vocational training, so he can learn a trade and be able to get a job when he does get out of prison.

Deputy Prosecutor Chad Kumagai objected to further delays since Bagio's sentencing had already been put off twice before.

"His crimes are too numerous and he put too many lives in danger when he drove the stolen vehicle through traffic," Kumagai said, "I ask that he be sentenced today to impose on him the seriousness of his actions and I ask that he be sentenced to a 20 year term of imprisonment.".

The judge ruled that Bagio should be given more time at Habilitat. But the ruling did come with a warning, "We're going to give you this chance to work these issues out and it's up to you," Tootoo said, adding that any missteps could result in an immediate and harsh sentence.

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