HONOLULU (KHNL) - A young man accused of killing his stepfather and setting their Ewa Beach home on fire gave up his court fight Thursday. He now faces life in prison with the possibility of parole.
Jurors in Timothy Adarna's first trial found him guilty of arson, but were hopelessly deadlocked on whether he committed murder or manslaughter.
Timothy Adarna once stood trial and convinced 10 of 12 jurors that he was suffering from extreme emotional distress, when he stabbed his stepfather over and over before setting their house on fire.
"Nothing in the fact pattern makes any sense. The family is stumped by it," David Hayakawa, defense attorney, said. "Everyone who knew and loved both of these individuals is completely stumped by it."
The hung jury meant Adarna would have to stand trial again. But now, the 21-year-old throws in the towel and pleads guilty to murder.
"Tim does not remember what happened," Hayakawa said.
On November 16, 2006, firefighters put out the flames at an Ewa Beach home and discovered the badly burned body of Bob Ramos, 55, in the master bedroom.
From inside a trash can about a half-mile away, investigators recovered a blood-stained tank top and a bloody knife.
"Given his actions in killing the victim, setting the house on fire, destroying evidence, setting up an alibi...indicates to me there was absolutely no loss of control," Kevin Takata, deputy prosecutor, said.
Under a plea deal, prosecutors agree to ask for a 20-year prison term when the case goes before the Hawaii parole board.
"We essentially have a manslaughter penalty and just a murder charge in name only," Hayakawa said.
"Their average minimum term for a murder conviction is 56 years," Takata said about the parole board. "And the only reason we were willing to recommend 20 is because, again, of the jury split."