Woman gets life sentence for 1978 murder

Woman gets life sentence for 1978 murder

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The family of a Moiliili man, who was fatally shot more than 30 years ago, tearfully spoke at the convicted murderer's sentencing Monday.

Maryann Acker, who now goes by the name Maryann Bray, apologized for her actions and told the judge that, after three decades, she's a much different person.

The siblings of murder victim Lawrence Hasker pleaded to the judge for a stiff punishment, saying a short prison term for Acker would only prolong their suffering. They got their wish -- a life sentence.

With heavy hearts and a sense of purpose, four siblings arrive from California, North Carolina and Wyoming to face the woman convicted of their brother's murder.

"All of this has been tremendously trying for all of them," Landon Murata, deputy prosecutor, said. "I'm thankful that the four of them were able to come down here at great expense, their own expense, to be present for sentencing."

It's taken 31 years and two trials to get here.

Prosecutors say in June 1978, Maryann Acker and her then-husband William stole money from Lawrence Hasker's Moiliili apartment and then took the 20-year-old to Hanauma Bay, where he was shot and killed.

Two months ago, the jury in Maryann Acker's re-trial decided she wasn't the one who pulled the trigger, but, as an accomplice, was still guilty of murder.

Five days after the Hasker slaying, the couple robbed and killed a man in California.

"These people should never be let out, to be honest," Murata said. "They should be held accountable for what they did, the ending of two young lives for no reason. It was a thrill ride for them."

Prior to sentencing, Acker turned to Hasker's family.

"I do offer my deepest regrets and humble apologies," the convicted murderer said.

The siblings didn't buy it.

"No. I mean, she lied before and she was still lying and I believe she is still lying," Joe Hasker, murder victim's brother, said. "So I think the judge saw that and took that into consideration as well. That's why it was a harsh punishment."

The judge gave Acker, who's already served 28 years in a California prison, a life sentence with the possibility of parole.

"We're just very happy with the outcome and the judge's decision," Joe Hasker said. "He took all our feelings into consideration and we're just very happy with the outcome."

When Maryann Acker's case first went before the Hawaii parole board, the panel set a 30-year minimum term. She's already served 28. Prosecutors say they'll seek a higher minimum at the next parole hearing.

The defense plans to appeal.