WAILUKU — A Lahaina man convicted of robbery for choking a Sacred Hearts School student and grabbing his iPad was sentenced Wednesday to a 10-year prison term.
Nicholas Slot, 34, returned the iPad after another student notified a teacher, who chased Slot and confronted him after the robbery at about 10:30 a.m. March 3, 2017.
Slot told the teacher “it was just a test” and that he worked for the Police Department.
“This is not a test,” 2nd Circuit Judge Rhonda Loo said in sentencing Slot. “This is the real deal. And the real deal in your case calls for a prison term.”
In a nonjury trial in December, Loo found Slot guilty of second-degree robbery and second-degree terroristic threatening.
The boy, who was 10 years old and a 4th-grader, testified he was sitting with a classmate on a bench outside the 4th-grade classroom while they studied for their Hawaiian studies class when a stranger approached. The man, later identified as Slot, grabbed the iPad away from the boy and put his hand against the boy’s neck while pressing him against the back of the bench.
The boy said he was choked to the point where he couldn’t breathe and the iPad was ripped out of his hands.
Slot threatened to hurt the boy if he told anyone, the youth testified.
“This has got to be one of the most frightening, nightmarish news a parent could receive,” said Deputy Prosecutor Carson Tani, who argued for the prison term for Slot.
Tani said the boy still receives treatment for the trauma he experienced that day.
“It’s an ongoing thing that the minor’s probably going to relive for many, many years,” Tani said.
Slot, who has been incarcerated for more than two years in the case, asked to be placed on probation so he can enter a dual-diagnosis treatment program for substance abuse and mental health issues on Oahu.
He said he was homeless and started drinking vodka early in the morning the day before the robbery.
“I blanked out,” Slot said. “I wasn’t on my meds. I wasn’t on the right meds.”
He said he wanted to try to get the equivalent of a high school diploma and seek custody of his daughter.
“I don’t do crimes anymore,” he said. “I quit.
“I am willing to do whatever it takes to get my life straight.”
Judge Loo said Slot had squandered his previous chances on probation. She noted that his criminal history includes 28 convictions.
“It seems like your behavior gets even more reckless as you age,” she told Slot.
* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.