Accused Sheriff Killer Faces Sentencing in Drug Case Next Week - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Accused Sheriff Killer Faces Sentencing in Drug Case Next Week

Peter Carlisle Peter Carlisle
Daniel Browne-Sanchez Daniel Browne-Sanchez

By Minna Sugimoto

(KHNL) -- The man accused of killing a state sheriff earlier this month, while awaiting sentencing on multiple drug counts, now wants to dump his lawyer. John Lorenzo wants to get rid of the attorney in his drug case, the one who managed to get him drug rehab instead of prison.

The 32-year-old, who pleaded no contest to three drug offenses and a DUI charge last July, appeared at Circuit Court Wednesday.

On four separate occasions since his plea, his attorney Frank Fernandez asked the judge to postpone sentencing to allow his client to receive drug treatment. Judge Karl Sakamoto approved each delay, most recently on January 24th.

Two weeks later, investigators say Lorenzo stormed into the Osake Sushi Bar and Lounge after closing, and held up several employees at gunpoint. Deputy sheriff Daniel Browne-Sanchez, who worked at the bar part-time, tried to disarm the gunman. The 27-year-old was shot and killed.

Prosecutors on Wednesday asked the judge to sentence Lorenzo on the drug counts immediately, instead of the scheduled date of April 5th. Sakamoto agreed to move the hearing up, but the parties have to wait until next week Thursday.

"We were hoping that sentencing was going to proceed today. We were frustrated in that particular desire for another week," Peter Carlisle, Honolulu prosecutor, said. "But we'll show up next week ready and prepared to argue for an extended term and a mandatory term of imprisonment."

Lorenzo wants the lawyer representing him in the sheriff murder trial to take over in the drug case. The judge ordered both defense attorneys to be present at the hearing next week.

Lorenzo is in custody at the Federal Detention Center, unable to post $5 million bail.

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