Jury Unable to Reach Verdict About Sheriff Killer's Future

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- On Oahu, a landmark court hearing on whether a sheriff killer should receive an extended sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole ends with a hung jury.

At 33 years old, Patrick Lorenzo hopes to someday taste freedom. But prosecutors say the man who murdered an off-duty sheriff should spend the rest of his life locked up.

"No expense would be spared for Mr. Lorenzo, from the prosecution's perspective that the right outcome be reached," deputy prosecutor Scott Bell said.

It's the first case in which a jury -- not a judge -- is making that decision. But after a full day of deliberations, the panel of seven men and five women says it's hopelessly deadlocked.

"Based on the responses of the jurors and their inability to reach a unanimous verdict, there is manifest necessity to declare a mistrial," circuit judge Karl Sakamoto said.

Lorenzo stormed into Osake Sushi Bar and Lounge February 10, 2007, and gunned down Deputy Sheriff Daniel Browne-Sanchez.

Jurors who convicted Lorenzo were ordered to return to court to consider the harsher punishment of life in prison with no chance of parole.

"They've been on this case for two-and-a-half months, and we thank them for all of their hard work and consideration," defense attorney Walter Rodby said about the jury. "And we also thank them for being fair to Patrick."

Prosecutors say they could seek a new jury to hear their extended term request, or move forward with the usual sentencing.

"The state is perfectly prepared to do this all over again," Bell said.

The defense calls that a waste of time and resources.

For now, Lorenzo's sentencing is set for March 11, 2008.