East Hawaii News

Burglar Gets 10 Years, Must Pay $162,000 Restitution

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A 38-year-old Puna man today with a history of committing burglaries was sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay more than $162,000 in restitution.

According to Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Ricky Damerville, Third Circuit Judge Greg Nakamura sentenced Jesse Robert Murray to 10 years for burglary in the first degree, which is a class “B” felony. Murray was also sentenced to five years each on second-degree burglary, three counts of theft, four counts of possessing methamphetamine and four counts of possessing drug paraphernalia, all of which are class “C” felonies.

Murray pleaded guilty to all of the counts. Nakamura ordered that the sentences be served concurrently.

According to Damerville, Murray asked Nakamoto to sentence him to probation and drug treatment instead of prison, arguing that prison only taught him to be a better criminal. The judge rejected that argument, noting that Murray’s first burglary conviction occurred in Delaware when he was 18 and that he had been sentenced in 2004 to a five-year term in Hawai`i for a series of property crimes.


A police investigation showed that Murray had broken into a number of homes and buildings in Puna in 2011 and this year, often using a crowbar to force open doors and windows. He would load up the victim’s vehicle with stolen items and then drive off.

The restitution Murray is required to pay stems from a number of those burglaries to which Murray admitted, Damerville said.

When confronted by surveillance systems, Murray would disable the cameras. But in at least one case, he was unable to find the hard drive which provided images that led to his conviction.


Damerville noted that modern video surveillance systems are important crime-fighting tools, particularly when the hard drive is well-hidden or stored off-site.


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