Slain off-duty officer’s blood-alcohol elevated
Toxicology results show that an off-duty deputy sheriff who was shot during a botched robbery while improperly moonlighting at a Kapiolani Boulevard sushi bar was intoxicated, possibly impairing his judgment, said the defense attorney for the man charged with his murder.
Deputy sheriff Daniel Browne-Sanchez's blood-alcohol level was elevated at 0.104 percent, said Walter Rodby, attorney for Patrick Lorenzo Jr. The legal limit for driving is 0.08.
Lorenzo, 32, goes to trial in Circuit Court Oct. 1 for fatally shooting Browne-Sanchez, 27, at the Osake Sushi Bar and Lounge.
Lorenzo, a convicted felon, is charged with second-degree murder, first- and second-degree attempted murder, first-degree robbery, two counts of kidnapping and multiple firearms violations.
The defense apparently will use the information to try to show that Lorenzo is not guilty of murder. The defense concedes that Lorenzo went to Osake to take money, but botched it.
"As unfortunate as the series of events that transpired, it's entirely possible that nobody would have been hurt if Mr. Lorenzo had been simply allowed to leave," Rodby said. "Things spun out of control and it's tragic, but it was not premeditated."
The defense contends that Browne-Sanchez was shot as he came at Lorenzo.
According to police, Browne-Sanchez, who worked at the bar as a barback, was shot as he tried to subdue the armed Lorenzo who entered the bar shortly after 3 a.m. on Feb. 10, 2006, after it was already closed.
Lorenzo was clad in a bulletproof vest, ski mask and a semiautomatic handgun with a silencer.
"Mr. Lorenzo said he was backing out and trying to leave the same way he came in -- the back door -- and that's when he was tackled and the gun went off," Rodby said. "There was no intent."
One of the lesser offenses the jury may be allowed to consider is reckless manslaughter -- that Lorenzo should have known and disregarded the fact that if you go in with a gun, someone can get hurt or die, Rodby said.
Trial prosecutor Scott Bell declined comment on Rodby's statements, saying they expect to address the issues in court filings.
Browne-Sanchez's mother could not be reached for comment.
Under Department of Public Safety policies, deputy sheriffs are prohibited from working as bartenders, private security, "repo men," or bill collectors. They are allowed to work "special duty" at graduations or parties where liquor may be served but not as bartenders, said Rodby.
Louise Kim McCoy, Public Safety spokeswoman, confirmed that Browne-Sanchez failed to notify his employer of his side job, a violation of department policies. "We did not know he was working there. He did not get permission to work there," she said. There also was no record that he had submitted a request.
Department policies require that deputy sheriffs submit requests to their supervisors when it comes to outside employment, she said. Each request is reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
Deputy sheriffs cannot work in a setting where only alcohol is served, such as a bar or club. Nor can they work as bouncers or bartenders, Kim McCoy said.
When the department contacted Osake's owner after the shooting, Public Safety officials were told Browne-Sanchez was only a barback, someone who assists the bartender with duties such as washing glasses, cutting up garnishes or restocking ice.