WALLA WALLA -- A former Washington State Penitentiary correctional officer has been sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to unlawfully delivering a controlled substance at his residence last summer.
Muaiao Kiliona, 37, of 1833 Wallace St., was ordered Tuesday to serve 14 months for unlawfully selling oxycodone pills to a confidential police informant on Aug. 4.
Kiliona was a penitentiary officer at the time of the reported drug sale, but his employment later was terminated, according to Walla Walla County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Gabriel Acosta.
Kiliona pleaded guilty Dec. 28 in Superior Court to the felony drug charge. He didn't admit guilt, but acknowledged the prosecution has evidence that could convict him.
Following a trial last fall, a jury couldn't reach a unanimous verdict on the charge so he was facing a retrial. The panel did convict him of a separate, misdemeanor charge of possessing a muscle relaxant -- which belonged to someone else -- at his residence Aug. 15.
On Tuesday, Kiliona faced a standard-range sentence of 12-months-and-a-day to 20 months for delivering the oxycodone pills. Acosta recommended a 16-month term. Defense attorney William McCool urged the low end of the range because Kiliona has no criminal history.
Judge Donald W. Schacht decided to split the difference between the two requests. He declined to give Kiliona the minimum standard-range sentence, telling him: "It does make a difference you were a correctional officer. You should have known better."
Schacht also sentenced Kiliona to 90 days for unlawfully possessing the muscle relaxant, but that term of confinement will be served at the same time as the 14-month sentence.
Kiliona was arrested Aug. 15, then released three days later pending the outcome of his case.
Terry McConn can be reached at email@example.com or 526-8319.