HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Hawaii Paroling Authority set Matthew Higa's minimum sentence at 200 years for killing toddler Cyrus Belt.
Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Peter Carlisle announced the decision Wednesday morning.
"You get some encouragement that there is justice for his memory but that never makes up for the life of a child," Carlisle said.
Higa was convicted of second-degree murder for throwing the 23-month-old boy off an overpass into traffic on H-1 in January 2008. Since his sentence carried the possibility of parole, prosecutors asked the paroling authority to give Higa a 200 year minimum sentence.
At his hearing two weeks ago, Higa told the board he knew the child and feels sad about what happened, but denied being the killer. His lawyer had argued that the boy was dead before Higa tossed him off the bridge. Higa admitted to being in a semi-conscious state after smoking crystal methamphetamine the day that Belt was killed.
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