SHOOTING TRIAL: DEPUTY’S DEATH DETAILED
RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
Patrick Lorenzo sat in Circuit Court yesterday during his trial for the slaying of an off-duty deputy sheriff at Osake Lounge.
Lorenzo claims coercion
Just hours after he left his rehab class, recovering drug addict Patrick Lorenzo was allegedly confronted by two men who had waited two years to collect a debt.
Their ultimatum: Pay up.
Or, go into Osake Sushi Bar & Lounge on Kapiolani Boulevard and fire some shots to send a message to the owners to pay for protection if they wanted to continue operating.
Lorenzo picked option No. 2, his attorney contended yesterday as his trial opened before Circuit Judge Karl Sakamoto. Lorenzo is charged with fatally shooting off-duty Deputy Sheriff Daniel Browne-Sanchez, 27, at the bar and attempting to shoot bar manager Brian Hasegawa. He also is accused of holding two other men at gunpoint and possessing a silencer.
Deputy Prosecutor Scott Bell said Lorenzo was a convicted felon awaiting sentencing in another case and was prohibited from carrying or possessing any firearms or ammunition.
If convicted of the attempted first-degree murder, Lorenzo, 32, whose convictions include mostly drug offenses, faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Defense attorney Walter Rodby said the two "thugs" had threatened Lorenzo before, going to his workplace and his home in Kailua and threatening to harm his mother. He had lost a large amount of drugs when he was arrested two years earlier and was not able to pay them back, he said. Rodby did not identify the two men in court.
"No worry, Patrick, send the message to them and we even," Rodby said Lorenzo was told by the men.
Fearing for his and his family's lives, Lorenzo agreed to their demands, Rodby said. They provided him with a ski mask, bulletproof vest and semiautomatic pistol with silencer, the lawyer said.
The defense and prosecution agree on what happened next.
Shortly after the lounge closed Feb. 10, Lorenzo, his face covered in a red ski cap with two holes for the eyes, burst into the kitchen from a back door and confronted two employees, ordering them into the lounge.
"There were caught completely by surprise," Bell said. "They thought someone was playing a joke on them."
"He was in over his head the second he walked into the lounge," Rodby said.
With its silencer, the weapon looked like a paintball gun to at least one worker, Bell said.
In language laced with profanity, Lorenzo ordered everyone to get on the ground, Bell said, with some getting on their knees.
Lorenzo pointed the gun at Hasegawa and fired, narrowly missing him, Bell said. It was then that the others realized it was no prank.
Browne-Sanchez did not get down as ordered and instead, with his hands up and palms toward Lorenzo, said he was leaving and moved deliberately toward the bar area, Bell said. As the off-duty deputy moved toward Lorenzo, gunfire erupted, Bell said.
Hit multiple times, Browne-Sanchez still managed to tackle Lorenzo, and a struggle for the gun ensued. The employees subdued Lorenzo but Browne-Sanchez's wounds proved fatal.
Browne-Sanchez had been drinking that night and had an elevated level of alcohol in his body, Rodby noted.
"That wasn't supposed to happen," Rodby said. "Patrick never intended to hurt anybody that night."