Richard Tominaga displayed a collage of his murdered sister, Tracey, yesterday outside the courtroom.

Murders bring
double life term

A circuit judge orders
back-to-back prison
sentences for a man
guilty of two slayings

Twenty-four-year-old Jason Perry, of Kailua, was sentenced yesterday to two consecutive life terms without parole for the January 2002 murders of a woman and man that the defense says stemmed from a crystal methamphetamine "rip-off."

In granting the state's request for the enhanced and consecutive sentence, Circuit Judge Karen Ahn found that Perry tortured Tracey Tominaga, 37, before she died. She described Perry's conduct as "reprehensible and cruel," and called him a danger to society.

She also sentenced him to a 10-year term for criminal conspiracy stemming from Tominaga's death.

Perry was convicted by a jury in May of criminal conspiracy and two counts of second-degree murder for killing Tominaga, who worked as a refreshment attendant at a Waikiki hotel, and Edward Fuller, 40.

Deputy Prosecutor Chris Van Marter said outside the courtroom that Perry's sentence was appropriate for the two, which he called "truly unconscionable."

"They tortured Tracey Tominaga and spared no mercy for her, and in the last moments of her life, they sexually molested her," he said. "This defendant never should be out of prison."

Perry was among a group of men who, in a "premeditated conspiracy," kidnapped, beat and killed Tominaga in a remote area above Makakilo before burying her, Van Marter told the court.

Tominaga was struck with a tree branch, had a gun stuck in her face, was threatened, handcuffed and had her head, leg and ankles wrapped in duct tape, he said. One of them fondled her while the others laughed, including Perry, who then strangled her, Van Marter said.

Fuller was shot to death on Jack Lane in Nuuanu four days later to keep him from going to police about what he learned happened to Tominaga.

Defense attorney David Bettencourt opposed the life term without parole, calling Tominaga's death a "victim-precipitated crime."

"(Perry) didn't go looking for somebody (to kill). He was involved with this because someone threatened his life," Bettencourt said.

Perry had testified at trial that he and others brought Tominaga to a remote property above Makakilo under the pretense of obtaining more "ice" because she and a friend, later identified as Kaimi Seu, had pointed a shotgun at his head and robbed him of ice and cash a few days earlier. "This was a pure drug rip-off," Bettencourt said.

Testimony at trial revealed Tominaga had purchased crystal methamphetamine from Perry on a previous occasion.

Perry testified he did not intend to harm Tominaga and only brought her to Makakilo to learn the identity of Seu. He said his plan went awry when his companions, without prompting from him, began hitting and kicking her. But he later admitted he placed his hands around her neck as she lay on the ground and pressed down on her throat but did not know if that killed her.

Perry apologized to Tominaga's parents and two brothers who attended the sentencing, as well as his family.

"I wish I could take it all back, but I can't," he said.

If "ice" hadn't been involved, "I think Tracy would be in a whole different place," and so would he, he said.

His family left the courtroom in tears and did not comment.

Five other defendants have reached plea agreements on conspiracy charges with the state. Ryan Onuma has received three years in prison; and Marvin Cadiz, three days. Three more await sentencing.

Richard Tominaga, Tracey's younger brother, says the images of his sister being beaten "callously, without any regard for her life," haunt him every day.

While his parents, Donald and Betty Tominaga, have displayed compassion and mercy toward Perry, he is finding it difficult to do the same.

"She didn't deserve to die the way she did, and it's one thing that's going to bother me for the rest of my life," he said.


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