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Jury convicts speeder of lesser charge in fatality


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POSTED: Friday, October 02, 2009

A Circuit Court jury found a 23-year-old Mililani man guilty of second-degree negligent homicide instead of manslaughter yesterday for speeding, crashing his car into a tree and killing one of his passengers.

The jury deliberated one day before finding Justin Amorin guilty of the lesser included offense for the Feb. 23, 2007, death of 17-year-old Gillian Badua and guilty of second-degree assault for causing permanent injury to Gavin Watson, another passenger.

Both crimes are Class C felonies punishable by up to five years in prison.

“;That's so wrong. I will never see my daughter again, and he gets five years. How right is that?”; said Badua's mother, Michaele Badua.

; Deputy Prosecutor Sean Sanada said he will ask Circuit Court Judge Karen Ahn to stack the two five-year terms for a total of 10 years in prison when she sentences Amorin next month.

The mandatory prison term for manslaughter is 20 years.

Police said Amorin was racing with the driver of another car when he crashed into a tree on Lanikuhana Avenue in Mililani. The posted speed limit on Lanikuhana is 25 mph.

The state's expert testified Amorin's car was traveling 80 to 100 mph at the time of the crash. Amorin's expert testified the car was traveling less than three times the speed limit.

“;Regardless of whose opinion you take, the bottom line is that the defendant was going way too fast in a residential street,”; Sanada said.

The driver of the other car, Bernard DeCoito Jr., 24, is also facing manslaughter and second-degree assault charges. The date for his trial is not set.