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HI: Firearms case gets hunter jail term

April 11, 2010

Firearms case gets hunter jail term

WAILUKU - Although an attorney said his client was only trying to provide food for his family, a 52-year-old Makawao man who is already a convicted felon was sentenced Thursday to 18 months in jail and five years' probation for illegally possessing firearms and ammunition while hunting deer at night three years ago.

John Allencastre was also ordered by 2nd Circuit Judge Joseph Cardoza to not hunt from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. while on probation. Cardoza told Allencastre to only fish or hunt legally between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. during his probation term.

Cardoza also warned Allencastre that since he is a felon he cannot own or possess any firearms or ammunition for the rest of his life. Allencastre was sentenced for lesser charges in the case. All will be served concurrently.

"I understand I was careless by hunting nighttime, and the guns were in view of the cops," Allencastre said.

He apologized and added that he didn't understand that what he did was wrong until he was in jail.

Deputy Prosecutor Melinda Mendes asked Cardoza to impose the 18 months in jail with probation, saying that in 1977 Allencastre beat someone with a baseball bat and was charged with first-degree assault, first-degree burglary and first-degree theft.

As a convicted felon, Allencastre knew he wasn't supposed to possess any firearms or ammunition, she said.

Mendes added there are many other ways Allencastre could have legally hunted besides using guns.

Defense attorney Jon Apo asked the court to not impose more jail time for Allencastre, who already has spent a significant amount of time in jail.

"He's asking for a new opportunity to essentially start a new life," Apo said. Apo said that at the time of the offense, Allencastre, a mason, couldn't find work and was trying to provide for his family as well as teach one of his sons to be self-sufficient by hunting.

Allencastre also was resentenced Thursday to a five-year probation term for a 2008 drug case. He will serve the term concurrently with jail time ordered for his firearms conviction.

Allencastre pleaded no contest to a variety of firearms and ammunition violations.

The charges stem from an incident on March 7, 2009, when Allencastre was stopped by Department of Land and Natural Resources officers along Piilani Highway in the Kaupo area, court records show.

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