Convicted killerBy Debra Barayuga
resentenced to 20 years
A man convicted of manslaughter based on reckless conduct for bludgeoning his grandmother to death with an aluminum baseball bat has been resentenced to 20 years in prison.
Sean Carvalho was 19 when he struck Aminia Santiago on the head at her Punchbowl Homes apartment in September 1995.
Yesterday, Circuit Judge Victoria Marks granted the state's request for an extended term of imprisonment after ruling that he presented a danger to the community.
She denied the defense's request to sentence Carvalho, now 23, under the youthful offender statute, which would have cut his prison term in half.
Marks noted that Carvalho was involved in three violent incidents in prison in 1996, participated in a gang when he was younger, and was involved in other incidents including setting fires and exhibiting cruelty to animals. He also scuffled with his grandmother before her death.
Psychologist Harold Hall testified that Carvalho's history of dangerousness resulting in violent conduct makes him a "serious danger to others."
Carvalho yesterday asked the court for leniency, saying the only violence he showed was the one that he was convicted of and for the three assaults in prison. The assaults resulted from attempts to survive in prison "like everyone else."
He said he is close to getting his GED and received a certificate in baking and food preparation from Leeward Community College.
"I feel I can be somebody in due time," he said.
Deputy public defender Willie Domingo argued that Carvalho was practically living on the streets at the time of the offense, had suffered abuse from his father and, contrary to reports, loved his grandmother although she resented the fact she had to care for him.
The jury considered his difficult childhood by returning a verdict of manslaughter based on reckless conduct instead of murder, Domingo said.
While Carvalho understands that he has to serve some time, "Twenty years would maybe suck all hope of rehabilitation," Domingo said.