Convict will be a witness
Shane Mark has been called to testify in defense of accused killer Patrick Lorenzo
Convicted police killer Shane Mark is expected to take the witness stand tomorrow in the trial of Patrick Lorenzo, who is accused of killing an off-duty deputy sheriff at the Osake Sushi Bar & Lounge on Feb. 10.
Lorenzo's attorney, Walter Rodby, subpoenaed Mark to testify at the Circuit Court trial. Mark is serving two life terms without the possibility of parole for fatally shooting officer Glen Gaspar at the Kapolei Baskin-Robbins in March 2003.
Despite objections by the prosecution, Judge Karl Sakamoto ruled yesterday the defendant's right to due process would be violated if he did not allow Mark to be called as a witness.
The defense contends that Mark ordered Lorenzo to pay up a drug debt or shoot up the Osake bar. Rodby said his position is that Lorenzo was coerced and would be guilty of manslaughter, which has a 20-year maximum rather than murder, which carries life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The prosecution objected to Mark's appearance in court, questioning the relevance of his testimony, and brought up safety concerns, citing a previous occasion when Mark apparently had a plan to escape.
Lorenzo is being tried for killing Daniel Browne-Sanchez, a deputy sheriff who worked as a barback at the lounge. He is charged with second-degree murder, attempted first- and second-degree murder, first-degree robbery, two counts of kidnapping and multiple firearm violations.
Mark is being called as a witness because he allegedly ordered people he knew to collect money from Lorenzo, Rodby said.
The defense contends Lorenzo owed money to a drug dealer and was unable to pay his debt, so the drug dealer went to the imprisoned Mark to get help in collecting the debt.
Two men gave Lorenzo an ultimatum to either pay up or go into the bar, fire some shots and send a message to the owners to pay for protection if the owners wanted to continue operating, Rodby said at the start of the trial.
"Patrick never demanded money from these people, wallets, cash or anything," Rodby said. "Patrick fired warning shots because he did not intend to kill anybody."
A manager for the now-closed Kapiolani Boulevard bar testified last week that no one ever approached the bar's management in an extortion attempt.
Rodby said he is not saying Mark heads the debt-collecting group, but "knows of these things" and is in a position to order such activities despite being in prison.
Rodby visited Mark at the Halawa Correctional Facility but does not know what Mark will say on the stand. He did not agree to anything, and asked to speak to his lawyer, Rodby said.
Mark's lawyer, Dwight Lum, is recommending he plead the Fifth Amendment and not testify, Rodby said. Lum could not be reached for comment.