Man pleads no contest in deadly alcohol poisoning case - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Man pleads no contest in deadly alcohol poisoning case

Michael Clark Michael Clark
Richard Stacey Richard Stacey

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Hawaii Kai man accused of hosting a drinking party that ended with a teenaged girl's death from alcohol poisoning gave up his court fight Monday. Michael Clark faces a year in jail after pleading no contest to the charges.

Even though a child died, this was always a misdemeanor case of providing liquor to minors, not a homicide. Still, Clark managed to strike a plea deal that will allow him to take care of seven charges across two separate criminal cases by serving a one-year jail term.

Tracy Ah Mook Sang wept, as the man suspected of giving her daughter a deadly amount of alcohol threw in the towel.

"No contest," the defendant told a judge.

Michael Clark, 25, pleaded no contest to five misdemeanor counts of promoting intoxicating liquor to a minor. Prosecutors say he served alcohol to five teenaged girls at his home on Kahena Street last July.

The youngest, Makamae Ah Mook Sang, 15, died.

"We took this case very seriously," Richard Stacey, deputy prosecutor, said. "Although it's not a murder case, obviously a girl died and I think that affects all of us."

Tests revealed Ah Mook Sang's blood-alcohol level was 0.433, more than five times the legal limit for a person driving.

At the time, Clark was already awaiting sentencing for felony terroristic threatening and misdemeanor assault, stemming from an incident at the Ala Moana Hotel in 2007.

"The first case involved a sort of melee at a hotel where he assaulted a hotel worker and two officers," Stacey said.

Under a plea deal, his punishment will be one year in jail. That's for both criminal cases.

"Can you explain why the prosecution decided to fold two cases together and allow him to serve all of the terms concurrently?" this reporter asked. "I mean, they're so unrelated."

"What this did, it guaranteed jail and it guaranteed convictions on all counts and the girls wouldn't have to testify," Stacey said.

Clark will also need to serve 200 hours of community service and must pay Ah Mook Sang's family more than $1,800 in restitution to cover funeral expenses.

"It's never enough to bring the girl back," Stacey said. "But I think it should send a message that anybody out there having these kind of parties, you better think twice. Any parent, your kids are going to a party, you better be careful."

Clark told the judge he's currently on anti-depressant medication.

He's scheduled to be sentenced June 14th.

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