- Associated Press - Monday, February 29, 2016

WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) - A Maui County man charged in the theft of more than 4,000 square feet of seashore grass has been sentenced to 60 days in jail.

Thirty-three-year-old Janden Jarnesky, of Waiehu, was sentenced after pleading no contest to theft and promotion of a dangerous drug on Feb. 19. He was also ordered to serve five years of probation and pay nearly $7,700 in restitution.

Authorities say about $8,600 of grass was stolen from a Puunene sod farm on seven separate occasions. The thefts took place between March 2011 and May 2012.

Jarnesky was arrested at his home, where police say the large stolen blocks of grass had been planted in the yard.

At Jarnesky’s sentencing, 2nd Circuit Court Judge Rhonda Loo said Jarnesky initially told police he had bought the grass and traded it for drugs. She said he later changed his story, saying that he knew the grass was stolen but bought it anyway.

Walter Vierra, Jarnesky’s attorney, said his client has never committed any violent crimes and has been through several drug treatment programs.

“For some people sobriety is a lifelong battle, and he slipped,” Vierra said.

Jarnesky has lived a rough life, Vierra said, but he is “aging out of that and wants to be a law-abiding citizen.”

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Information from: The Maui News, https://www.mauinews.com

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