20-year term set for 2 killings
Kanahele agrees not to contest charges in the drug shootings
A Waipahu man will be sentenced to a mandatory 20 years in prison for a recent manslaughter conviction in an October 2003 death and for an unrelated murder a week later in Pearl City.
Micah Kanahele, 25, pleaded no contest yesterday to multiple charges, including attempted second-degree murder, second-degree murder and first-degree robbery for killing Guylan Nuuhiwa and injuring Winston Domingo over a quarter-pound of marijuana on Nov. 1, 2003, in the Pearl City Shopping Center.
He made the plea as part of a deal with the prosecution that set the 20-year term for both the slaying in Pearl City and the manslaughter conviction in the Oct. 26, 2003, death of Greg Morishima in Aiea. Circuit Court Judge Michael Town accepted Kanahele's pleas yesterday and agreed to abide by the deal when he is sentenced March 1.
Kanahele pleaded no contest to seven firearm offenses and two drug offenses stemming from his arrest two days later. Dropped was a first-degree attempted-murder charge, for which Kanahele faced mandatory life in prison without parole.
According to police, Kanahele shot Nuuhiwa because he refused to lower the price of the marijuana to $1,480 from $1,600. The drug sale took place in the parking lot of the Pearl City Shopping Center fronting Longs Drug.
In agreeing to the 20-year mandatory term, Kanahele also waived any rights to appeal his manslaughter conviction in the slaying of Morishima.
Morishima was shot at the carport of a friend's Aiea home by three masked gunmen after he jokingly remarked that they were early for Halloween. The gunmen had gone to the Pamoho Place home to steal drugs.
Richard Hoke, attorney for Kanahele, said Kanahele is hoping the parole board will set his minimum at 20 years.
Under the terms of the deal, if the parole board sets a minimum term higher than 20 years, Kanahele can withdraw his plea and go to trial. The Morishima conviction, however, would stand.
Out of five defendants in that case, only Kanahele was found guilty by a jury. Another defendant, Kevin Harris, turned state's witness and pleaded to lesser robbery charges.
Deputy Prosecutor Lucianne Khalaf said the plea agreement is important because not only did Kanahele take responsibility for the killing of Nuuhiwa and the attempt to kill Domingo, but his conviction in the Morishima slaying is preserved.
Kanahele was one of three defendants awaiting trial in connection with the Nuuhiwa shooting but the only one charged with murder.
Co-defendant Rosalino Ramos is charged with first-degree robbery in the case and is set for trial April 17.
Just last week, Town dismissed a second-degree murder charge against Ramos in the Morishima slaying after juries in two separate trials could not reach unanimous verdicts against him and two other defendants.