DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Patrick Lorenzo, on trial for second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Deputy Sheriff Daniel Browne-Sanchez, took the stand yesterday in Circuit Court. Deputy Prosecutor Scott Bell showed the gloves that Lorenzo testified he was wearing during the shooting.
Coercion described in tavern death
Patrick Lorenzo says he was forced to threaten the bar
"It wasn't supposed to happen like this," Patrick Kealoha Lorenzo Jr. recalled saying after someone screamed that he just shot a state sheriff.
"There is no way I could ever imagine hurting someone with a gun or firing at anybody," Lorenzo testified yesterday as he wiped away tears.
Lorenzo, 33, is on trial in Circuit Court for second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Deputy Sheriff Daniel Browne-Sanchez, 27, on Feb. 10 at the Osake Sushi Bar & Lounge on Kapiolani Boulevard.
In emotional testimony, Lorenzo said two unnamed men coerced him to go to Osake to scare the bar's management into paying "dues" if they wanted to continue their operation. Lorenzo said the men threatened to harm him and his family if he did not deliver the message.
Some of Browne-Sanchez's friends who packed the courtroom gallery and his mother, Robina Browne, cried as Lorenzo recalled the events of the early morning hours of Feb. 10. The defense contends he did not mean to shoot Browne-Sanchez, who worked as a part-time barback at Osake.
Lorenzo testified that he never planned or intended to harm anyone. He said he had a drug debt of about $6,000 to $8,000.
Two years earlier, police seized marijuana and 28 grams of methamphetamine when he was searched at the Pearl City Station after being arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.
He was awaiting sentencing for drug-related charges at the time the men confronted him, he said. Lorenzo said the men confronted him twice before the night of Feb. 9 -- at his mother's home and at his workplace on Dillingham Boulevard -- to pay off his debt.
Lorenzo said he just left a drug treatment class at 8 on the night of Feb. 9 when the men struck him behind the head. Lorenzo and the men drove to Tantalus where they threatened to kill him. They ordered him to go to Osake to deliver the message.
Asked by defense attorney Walter Rodby why he did not call police, Lorenzo said he feared the men would retaliate. He testified the two men handed him a black bag. "They told me in the black bag would be everything I needed to get the job done," he said.
Lorenzo testified that he had never been to Osake until that night. He and the men drove past Osake on Kapiolani Boulevard where they showed him the windows where they would be watching him and the door through which he was to enter the establishment. A bartender testified earlier that she saw two men looking through the window that night. But a bar manager has testified that Osake was never approached in an extortion scheme, such as the one described by the defendant.
Lorenzo said he went behind the establishment and waited there for about an hour. "I was telling myself, 'This is crazy, this is crazy.'"
After entering he ordered people to lie on the ground and fired two shots at the wall. Browne-Sanchez walked toward Lorenzo with his hands up in the air.
"I asked him, 'Where you going? Get the (expletive) down,'" Lorenzo said. "I realized I'm way over my head. They're scaring me more than I'm scaring them." He said he edged toward the exit when he fired a shot to the ground in an attempt to stop Browne-Sanchez.
As Lorenzo turned to look at the exit, Browne-Sanchez tackled him to the ground, he testified. They struggled and the gun went off, he said.
Police arrived. Lorenzo said he did not realize Browne-Sanchez was shot until someone yelled, "You know you just shot a sheriff!" as police led him away. Then he saw Browne-Sanchez on the ground, bleeding. "I just couldn't believe what was going on," he said.
Deputy Prosecutor Scott Bell was to cross-examine Lorenzo at 9:30 a.m. today in Circuit Judge Karl Sakamoto's courtroom.