Lorenzo sentenced to 30 years for drugs
A Circuit Court judge has given a 30-year prison sentence for felony drug convictions to Patrick Lorenzo, who is also charged with murder in the shooting of an off-duty deputy sheriff.
Circuit Judge Karl Sakamoto, taking into consideration only the drug case, said yesterday that Lorenzo is a danger and must be incarcerated for an extended term for the community's protection.
Calling Lorenzo's efforts at participating in drug treatment "a mere mockery," Sakamoto granted the prosecutor's request yesterday to extend Lorenzo's sentence to 20 years from 10 years for second-degree drug possession and to 10 years from five years for third-degree drug possession.
"His insincerity and failure to accept rehabilitation makes him a dangerous person, especially when prison and this program didn't rehabilitate him," Sakamoto said.
Sakamoto imposed the terms back to back, meaning Lorenzo will serve 30 years. Sakamoto also ordered that Lorenzo serve a mandatory minimum of six years and eight months as a repeat offender.
Prosecutors sought extended terms based on Lorenzo's pattern of criminality. Lorenzo's history includes 27 arrests, five felony convictions and nine misdemeanors, petty misdemeanors and violations.
Lorenzo, 32, is being held on $5 million bail -- accused of multiple charges, including first-degree attempted murder and second-degree murder in the Feb. 10 shooting of deputy sheriff Daniel Browne-Sanchez, who was working as a bar back at the Osake Sushi Bar and Lounge.
Lorenzo was to have been sentenced last October on the felony drugs and DUI convictions, but was allowed to remain free after the defense successfully argued to allow him to participate in drug treatment.
About two dozen family members attended yesterday's sentencing, including Lorenzo's mother and his brother, John Koa Lorenzo Jr., whose name Lorenzo gave to police during the traffic stop in February 2005 that led to the drug charges.
Defense attorney Walter Rodby argued that an extended sentence was unconstitutional, citing a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning an extended term for a former client.
"Judge Sakamoto is only following current Hawaii law as he is obligated to, and we suspect Hawaii's Supreme Court will issue an opinion soon outlawing judge-imposed extended sentences," Rodby said.
Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a Hawaii Supreme Court ruling that affirmed an extended term for Miti Maugaotega, a former client of Rodby's who was convicted of shooting a Punchbowl homeowner during a burglary.
The high court decision was the latest in a series of decisions that made clear that juries, not judges, must consider facts that justify harsher prison terms.
Rodby said yesterday that just five hours before he allegedly entered the Kapiolani Boulevard sushi bar, Lorenzo had been participating in the program's three-hour substance abuse class.
Sakamoto disagreed with Rodby, noting that mere attendance is not an accurate measure of Lorenzo's performance in the program.
"We're satisfied with the sentence in this case, but we're not through with Mr. Lorenzo," city Prosecutor Peter Carlisle said after the hearing.