POSTED: Sunday, December 06, 2009

Wife-killer must serve at least 120 years

LIHUE » A 58-year-old Kauai man sentenced to life in prison in 2001 for killing his wife by setting her on fire has had his parole minimum doubled to 120 years.

The Garden Island Newspaper reported that a legal wrinkle allowed Gregory Aguiar to request that the minimum he must serve be changed.

Paroling Authority Division Administrator Max Otani says that based on the nature of the offense and degree of loss, the minimum was increased to 120 years from 60 after a hearing.

Miu Lan Esposo-Aguiar died in 2000, three weeks after she was doused in cleaning fluid and set aflame during a domestic quarrel at the couple's home.

Aguiar was sentenced to life in prison after pleading no contest to second-degree murder. Prosecutors had agreed not to seek a sentence of life without the possibility of parole.

Coast Guard calls off missing-boater search


Big Island firefighters and the Coast Guard ended a three-day search for a missing 58-year-old boater yesterday after no sign of him was found.

Samuel Bower rented a boat Wednesday at Honokohau Harbor. His boat was found that evening motoring in circles about three miles off the Kona Coast.

The Coast Guard completed covering about 4,400 square miles, roughly the size of the Big Island, during the search, said Charles Turner, a Coast Guard search-and-rescue coordinator.

Kealoha upgrades pair to deputy chiefs

New Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha is promoting Assistant Chiefs Delbert Tatsuyama and Randal Macadangdang to deputy chiefs.

Current Deputy Chiefs Paul Putzulu and Karl Godsey will retire at year's end. Putzulu had been acting chief until Kealoha's appointment and had been a finalist for the job.

Tatsuyama will oversee administrative operations and Macadangdang will head patrol operations.

Both also applied for the chief's position. Tatsuyama was one of two assistant chiefs who were added to the finalists after a list of four candidates had been chosen by a special selection committee.

Kealoha thanked Putzulu and Godsey for their combined service of nearly seven decades with the Honolulu Police Department.

He also expressed his gratitude for their advice and assistance during this transition period.

Court rejects former police chief's appeal

LIHUE » A federal appeals court has affirmed a lower court's rejection of a lawsuit filed by former Kauai Police Chief K.C. Lum against Mayor Bryan Baptiste and other county officials.

The suit alleging Lum was discriminated against because of his Chinese ancestry was filed in 2006, a week after Baptiste asked the county's Police Commission to fire Lum. Baptiste died in June 2008.

Lum claimed he suffered from a hostile work environment created by county police commissioner Leon Gonsalves Sr., who had referred to the chief as “;Hop Sing”; in a 2004 e-mail. That was the name of the Chinese cook on the old TV show “;Bonanza.”;

A three-judge panel with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held there was no basis for Lum's claims of discrimination and conspiracy.