CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
John Koa Lorenzo Jr. made an initial appearance in court yesterday after being charged in the shooting death of Deputy Sheriff Daniel Browne-Sanchez. CLICK FOR LARGE
Murder suspect was awaiting sentencing
A man with a long rap sheet is charged in Saturday's slaying of a deputy sheriff
The man accused of fatally shooting an off-duty deputy sheriff Saturday was supposed to be sentenced to prison in October but was allowed to remain free to complete a substance-abuse program, court records show.
John Koa Lorenzo Jr., also known as Patrick K. Lorenzo, made an initial appearance yesterday in Honolulu District Court, accused of killing Daniel Browne-Sanchez during a robbery attempt at a Kapiolani Boulevard sushi bar.
Lorenzo, 32, is charged with second-degree murder, first- and second-degree attempted murder, first-degree robbery, two counts of kidnapping and multiple firearm violations stemming from the early-Saturday shooting at the Osake Sushi Bar & Lounge.
Browne-Sanchez, 27, who worked part time at the lounge as a bar back, was shot three times as he tried to subdue Lorenzo. Browne-Sanchez underwent hours of surgery and died that afternoon of a gunshot wound to the chest.
On Oct. 3, Lorenzo was in court, scheduled to be sentenced on DUI and drug convictions and facing up to 20 years in prison, but Circuit Judge Karl Sakamoto granted Lorenzo's requests to postpone the sentencing four times to enable him to continue and complete a substance abuse program. Lorenzo apparently had difficulties with the program and was deactivated and later re-enrolled, prosecutors said.
Lorenzo had pleaded no contest in July to promoting a dangerous drug in the second degree, unlawful use of drug paraphernalia, promoting a detrimental drug in the third degree and driving under the influence.
At prior hearings, Sakamoto informed Lorenzo that he would be imposing a prison term and that probation was not a possibility. Sakamoto also granted the state's motion to sentence Lorenzo as a repeat offender, meaning he must serve a mandatory minimum of six years and eight months in prison.
On Jan. 24, Sakamoto granted Lorenzo's latest request to continue sentencing to April 5 after his attorney, Frank Fernandes, informed the court that the program would take another six months to complete.
Prosecutors objected strenuously to the delays, arguing that Lorenzo was a danger to the community. Deputy Prosecutor Marvin Rampey filed papers in September seeking to extend Lorenzo's sentence to 20 years from 10 years, based on his past criminal history.
Lorenzo's history includes 27 arrests, five felony convictions and nine misdemeanors, petty misdemeanors and violations.
Lorenzo's prior convictions include three felony drug offenses in November 1994 and another felony drug offense in March 1995. The drug offenses involved rock cocaine.
He spent a major portion of a 10-year sentence in prison for the 1995 conviction before being released but was brought back to prison again after re-offending, prosecutors said.
He was convicted again in March 1996 for another felony drug offense and was sentenced to 10 years.
He was paroled in January 1999 but returned to prison less than a month later for failing to complete a residential substance abuse program, said Hawaii Paroling Authority Administrator Tommy Johnson.
Lorenzo received early discharge in Jan. 12, 2005 -- some five weeks before his 10-year term would have "maxed out," Johnson said. The parole board no longer had any authority over Lorenzo after his discharge.
Less than a month after his release, he was pulled over near the H-3 onramp in Halawa after a police officer observed him passing other cars, straddling two lanes and speeding on Moanalua Freeway. In a search, officers found numerous packets of crystal methamphetamine and marijuana. The drug and DUI charges that stemmed from that arrest are the offenses he is currently awaiting sentencing for.
In court papers, prosecutors cited his "total disregard" for the rights of others and poor attitude toward the law in arguing for an extended term to protect the public.
"Defendant Lorenzo has demonstrated a pattern of criminality which indicates that he is likely to be a recidivist in that he cannot conform his behavior to the requirement of the law," Rampey argued in court papers filed last September.
"Due to the quantity and seriousness of defendant Lorenzo's past convictions and the seriousness of the instant offenses, defendant Lorenzo poses a serious threat to the community, and his long-term incarceration is necessary for the protection of the public," he concluded.
Lorenzo is expected back in Honolulu District Court tomorrow for a preliminary hearing.
He faces life without parole if convicted of first-degree attempted murder for attempting to kill more than one person.