Convicted Cop Killer to be Defense Witness in Sheriff Murder Trial

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- He shot and killed a Honolulu police officer four years ago. Now, Shane Mark may play a role in the trial of a man accused of fatally shooting a state sheriff.

A man accused of killing a sheriff is looking for help from a man convicted of killing a cop.

John Lorenzo claims two thugs forced him to extort money from the owners of Osake Sushi Bar and Lounge, and that the order came from Shane Mark, who's serving a life sentence for fatally shooting a Honolulu police officer.

The defense says Lorenzo had to comply to settle a drug debt.

"The drug dealer actually went to Mr. Mark and Mr. Mark's friends requesting assistance in trying to collect this debt," Walter Rodby, defense attorney, said.

Prosecutors say Lorenzo stormed into Osake after hours February 10th, and held up the workers at gunpoint. Deputy sheriff Daniel Browne-Sanchez, who worked at the bar part-time, was shot and killed.

Now, the defense plans to call the prisoner to the witness stand.

"In March of 2006, Mr. Mark was found in the Halawa Correctional Facility in possession of a handcuff key," Scott Bell, deputy prosecutor, said. "I bring that to the court's attention for purposes of putting the court on notice of the serious risk of escape that Mr. Mark presents."

Mark was convicted of murdering officer Glen Gaspar at the Baskin-Robbins ice-cream store in Kapolei in 2003.

Security will be tight when he testifies.

"Shane Mark will be shackled at all times, including on the witness stand," Karl Sakamoto, Circuit Court judge, said.

The drama is expected to unfold Wednesday.

Prosecutors finished presenting their case to the jury Monday morning.