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Wednesday, June 28, 2000

Maui man sentenced
in drug-debt case

By Gary T. Kubota


WAILUKU -- A Maui man was sentenced to life without parole yesterday for trying to kill two people because one of them owed him drug money.

Maui Circuit Judge Shackley Raffetto also sentenced Calvin Elizares to two consecutive life terms for kidnapping.

A jury convicted Elizares on April 24 on a number of charges stemming from his attempt to kill Daniel Legsay, who owed the drug debt, and Legsay's girlfriend, Maryann Basso.

Two co-defendants, Brian Wong and Iokepa Auwae, have been sentenced to 20 years in prison on a number of charges, including conspiracy to commit murder.

Deputy Prosecutor Melinda Mendes said that with help from Wong and Auwae, Elizares lured Legsay and Basso to a Waikapu house on July 31, 1998. The two were tied up and later put into the trunk of a car.

Mendes said Elizares, who was selling crystal methamphetamine and cocaine, would have killed the two if they had not escaped from the trunk of the car as it drove down a dirt road away from the Waikapu house.

Mendes said although Legsay was recaptured, Basso hid in the bushes in Waikapu overnight and later called police.

Mendes said she believes Elizares decided not to go through with killing Legsay because Basso escaped and could be a witness.

Elizares was sentenced in 1979 to 20 years in prison after he and two other men pleaded guilty to killing an inmate.

Prisoners testified the inmate Claude Murata was strangled for failing to turn over $100.

Mendes said Elizares was in prison at the time for two knife-point robberies of cab drivers.

She said Elizares was on parole when he kidnapped Legsay and Basso.

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