Killing victim’s liquor intake debated
The presence of alcohol in off-duty Deputy Sheriff Daniel Browne-Sanchez's system is not relevant for the jury to decide whether his assailant is guilty of his murder, prosecutors argued yesterday.
Patrick Lorenzo, 32, goes to trial Monday in Circuit Court on multiple charges, including second-degree murder for intentionally causing Browne-Sanchez's death.
Police said Browne-Sanchez, 27, was shot as he tried to subdue the armed Lorenzo.
Prosecutors cited autopsy reports that concluded gunshot injuries, not alcohol, caused Browne-Sanchez's death.
The alcohol in his system "did not contribute in any way to his death," prosecutors said, citing Deputy Medical Examiner Gayle Suzuki.
Last week, defense attorney Walter Rodby said Lorenzo did not intend for the shooting at Osake Sushi Bar and Lounge to happen.
Rodby, who obtained Browne-Sanchez's toxicology results, said the deputy sheriff's elevated blood-alcohol level impaired his judgment on Feb. 10, 2006, and that his actions in part resulted in the shooting.
In court documents filed Tuesday, Rodby noted Browne-Sanchez disregarded Lorenzo's orders to "get down" and was shot as he approached Lorenzo.
Browne-Sanchez had 0.104 percent of alcohol in his system at the time of the incident.
The prosecutor's office and Rodby declined yesterday to comment further on the case.
Online court minutes posted Tuesday suggest that Lorenzo was expected to plead to some of the charges today. Trial on the remaining counts is slated to begin Monday.
Rodby said last week that Browne-Sanchez was not supposed to be working at the bar in the first place. Department of Public Safety policies require that its employees first obtain approval before seeking outside employment. And deputy sheriffs cannot work in a setting where alcohol is served, such as a bar or club.
A grand jury returned an indictment Feb. 14, 2006, charging Lorenzo with first-degree attempted murder, second-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder, first-degree robbery, kidnapping and seven firearm offenses. If convicted of first-degree attempted murder, Lorenzo faces life without the possibility of parole.
He is currently serving a 30-year sentence for drug and DUI convictions.