Last of 8 men in
murder case sentenced
A man who prosecutors say struck Tracey Tominaga in the head with a tree branch, splitting her head open, has been sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment.
Circuit Judge Karen Ahn also ordered Andrey Lake, 25, to serve two concurrent five-year terms for second-degree assault and hindering prosecution.
Lake is the last of eight men to be sentenced for their roles in the January 2002 murder of Tominaga.
Prosecutors say Tominaga, 37, was killed because she and a male friend had robbed her crystal methamphetamine supplier, Jason Perry, at gunpoint of ice and cash.
Ahn, who presided over the trials and convictions of two of the eight defendants, said at the Monday sentencing that she was struck by the "incredible cruelty" of what happened to Tominaga. She said Lake's role and his record prevented her from granting probation.
Deputy Prosecutor Chris Van Marter said Lake's actions escalated the level of violence against Tominaga, which had begun with slaps and verbal threats.
Lake apologized to the Tominaga family for their loss and said he has taken responsibility for his actions.
Defense attorney Al Nishimura said Lake and Tominaga were in the same situation: Both were in a remote location surrounded by Perry's friends with nowhere to go for help. Had they done anything to cross Perry or not go along with his plan, they would not have left the scene alive, Nishimura said.
"(Lake) got to the point he hit the victim in hopes it would render her unconscious and what Jason Perry was doing would cease," Nishimura said.
Richard Tominaga, the victim's brother, said he was angry that the defense attorney would put his sister and Lake in the same category as "victim."
"I understand he has to do the best for his client, but (Lake) was responsible for himself. He decided to go with them. He's the one who decided to pick up the log and assault my sister."
Perry is serving two life terms without parole plus 10 years' imprisonment for conspiracy in the murder of Tominaga and 40-year-old Edward Fuller so he would not go to police. Delaneo Puha, who supplied Perry with the drugs and was convicted of conspiracy and hindering prosecution, received 15 years.
Five others, who pleaded to charges including hindering prosecution and criminal conspiracy, received sentences ranging from probation to 10 years in prison.