Tuesday, July 8, 2003

Markes Rapozo pleaded guilty yesterday to charges stemming from a two-month crime spree last year.

Man pleads guilty
in 2-month crime spree

Markes Rapozo faces life for
the rampage, which left 1 dead

A convicted felon pleaded guilty yesterday in Circuit Court to charges stemming from a two-month crime spree last year that included armed robbery, murder and attempted murder.

Markes Rapozo, 35, also known as Markes Rapoza, faces life in prison after pleading guilty to:

>> Attempted murder, for the March 16, 2002, shootout at a pawnshop on Kapahulu Avenue that left the 52-year-old shop owner in a coma with two gunshot wounds.

Su Chin Pak remains hospitalized but is no longer in a coma. Deputy Prosecutor Chris Van Marter said that during his lengthy hospitalization, Pak was forced to file for bankruptcy and lost his pawnshop.

>> Murder, for fatally shooting Earl Hirakawa in the head with a shotgun March 6, 2002, as Hirakawa, 40, was driving on Vineyard Boulevard, after Rapozo fled without paying for the drug methamphetamine, Van Marter said.

>> Robbery, for taking two antique Rolex watches on Jan. 18, 2002, after pointing a gun at the owner of Bailey's Antiques and Aloha Shirts at 517 Kapahulu Ave.

>> Being a felon in possession of a firearm in each of the two shootings. Rapozo has eight prior felony convictions including robbery and burglary, Van Marter said.

Mayla Blakley, Rapozo's attorney, said, "He (Rapozo) was very good about taking responsibility for what he's done, and he feels badly for what he has done."

She said "ice" addiction played a role in Rapozo's actions.

Under a plea agreement with the prosecution, Rapozo will receive two mandatory life prison terms with the possibility for parole for the murder and attempted murder when he is sentenced Oct. 21. Both sentences will run at the same time.

Rapozo will also be sentenced to 20 years in prison for the robbery and 10 years for each of the firearm charges.

Those sentences will also run at the same time as the life terms, but Rapozo will have to serve at least 20 years behind bars before he is eligible for parole. Van Marter said he will ask the Hawaii Paroling Authority for a much longer minimum term.

Hirakawa's parents were in the courtroom when Rapozo pleaded guilty to their son's murder.

"I think it's (the plea agreement) OK," said Hirakawa's father, Paul.


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