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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Woman tells judge she made Molotov cocktail

By Ken Kobayashi
Advertiser Courts Writer

A 27-year-old Wai'anae woman pleaded guilty to federal charges of making and possessing a Molotov cocktail out of a beer bottle a day after brushfires scorched hundreds of acres near the Honokai Hale and Ko Olina areas last summer.

Willolyn Jose was not charged with setting any brushfires and federal prosecutors said they cannot link her with the blazes.

She now faces prison terms of up to 10 years for the charges of making and possessing the "incendiary device."

Federal Magistrate Judge Barry Kurren scheduled Jose's sentencing for July 3.

Assistant U.S. Attorney William Shipley told Kurren a witness saw Jose at the parking lot at Kahe Point beach Aug. 6 pouring liquid from a 5-gallon gasoline can into two Heineken beer bottles. The next day, authorities saw Jose's car at the parking lot and recovered a gas can and a Heineken bottle with gasoline, Shipley said.

"I turned two empty Heineken bottles into Molotov cocktails," Jose told Kurren.

She pleaded guilty to the two felony charges without a plea agreement.

Jose was initially held without bail, but later released to a drug rehabilitation program where she remains.

After her arrest Aug. 7, Jose had been described by police as a "person of interest" because she matched a description by a witness about a person acting suspiciously near one of the brushfires.

"We cannot link the brushfires with the evidence gathered," Shipley said after yesterday's hearing.

Jose's lawyer, federal Assistant Public Defender Shanlyn Park, declined to comment about the case.

Reach Ken Kobayashi at kkobayashi@honoluluadvertiser.com.