Renee Gaspar, right, and family friend Cheryl Borges embraced yesterday outside the courtroom after Shane Mark's sentencing. Gaspar is the ex-wife of Honolulu police officer Glen Gaspar, who was shot and killed by Mark in March 2003.

Mark sentenced
to life in prison

The no-parole term is
the toughest possible penalty
for killing an HPD officer

Convicted murderer Shane Mark was sentenced yesterday to two life terms in prison -- one without parole -- for shooting and killing officer Glen Gaspar at a Kapolei ice cream store in March 2003.

Circuit Judge Karen Ahn extended Mark's sentence for second-degree murder because the state said Mark poses a danger to society.

The second life term with parole came with a mandatory minimum of 10 years for using a firearm to shoot Gaspar. Both sentences run at the same time.

Obtaining a life term without parole was the state's goal from the start when it brought Mark, 29, to trial for the first time in December for first- degree murder but came away with a guilty verdict on the lesser charge of second-degree murder, punishable by life with the possibility of parole.

The defense opposed an extended sentence, saying it was illegal under a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling and excessive given the facts and circumstances of the case.

"He is not a monster," said Deputy Public Defender Debra Loy. "He is a person who is going to pay for his mistakes and pay dearly."

Convicted murderer Shane Mark, center, was sentenced yesterday to life in prison without parole. Mark listened with no sign of emotion as his extended sentence was read by Judge Karen Ahn. He was flanked by Deputy Public Defenders Theresa Marshall, left, and Debra Loy.

The sentencing yesterday was crowded with dozens of police officers, Gaspar's colleagues and family. Unlike the two trials that preceded the sentencing -- when even the officers who witnessed Gaspar's shooting could not show emotion for fear of eliciting sympathy from the jury -- family members and Gaspar's colleagues gasped loudly and wiped away tears when Ahn granted the extended term.

Earlier, Gaspar family members had wept quietly as former Detective Bruce Swann, head of the career criminal unit of which Gaspar was a member, lauded the honest and hard-working 12-year police veteran for making the ultimate sacrifice. Swann also reproached Mark for making irresponsible choices, including bringing a gun to a meeting with his daughter at the Kapolei Baskin-Robbins.

Gaspar was one of six officers who had gone to the shopping center on March 4, 2003, after receiving a tip that Mark would be there. Police had been looking for Mark since a Feb. 1 shooting in which he allegedly shot at two men in the parking lot of a Moanalua church, striking one of them.

Renee Gaspar, Gaspar's ex-wife and mother to their two daughters, Kiana-Leigh and Taysia-Jamie, broke down as she described how Gaspar affected the lives of not only his family, but his friends, strangers and children in the community. She talked of her daughters' prayers that their father's death was only a bad dream and how much he is missed during the holidays and special family events.

At Mark's second trial, which ended last week, the jury convicted him of first-degree attempted assault for pointing a gun at Gaspar's partner, officer Calvin Sung.

Shane Mark's sentencing yesterday was crowded with dozens of Honolulu Police Department officers and Glen Gaspar's family.

Ahn sentenced Mark to 20 years for the attempted assault and for being a felon in possession of a firearm. She also ordered him to serve 20 years with a mandatory minimum of 10 years for using a firearm to shoot Denny Paikai in the Feb. 1 incident, 10 years for being a felon in possession of a gun and five years for attempted second-degree assault on Paikai. The sentences will run at the same time.

Ahn dismissed a second-degree attempted murder and firearm count that accused Mark of trying to kill a second man in the Feb. 1 shooting and using a gun in that incident. The jury could not reach verdicts on those counts in either trial.

Deputy Prosecutor Chris Van Marter said the juries did what they could with the evidence presented. The latest jury was deadlocked 9-3 in favor of first-degree attempted murder in the Sung count but compromised with a lesser verdict.

Shane Mark had few words for the family:

"I'm sorry Glen had to die. I really believe he was a good guy, an awesome guy."

Outside the courtroom, an emotional Renee Gaspar said Mark's apology did not mean anything to her. She hopes now that he has received the state's harshest sentence, their family can all begin to heal "and to let Glen rest finally," she said. "We've waited a long time."

In a statement, acting Police Chief Glen Kajiyama said the department is pleased with the sentence and that it accurately reflects the nature of Mark's crimes. "Individuals like Mr. Mark should be and need to be held accountable for their actions and decisions," he said. "We are thankful that he will not be able to harm anyone in the community again."



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