Convicted killer in gruesome machete attack at Maui mall given 20-year sentence

Convicted killer in gruesome machete attack at Maui mall given 20-year sentence
Convicted killer Kumulipo Sylva appears in court on Maui on Friday. (Source: Wendy Osher/MauiNow)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The man who claimed he saw demons moments before brutally killing a man inside the bathroom of a Maui shopping mall last year has been given a 20-year sentence, the maximum sentence available for his manslaughter conviction.

Jurors in the case convicted Kumulipo Sylva case on the lesser count of manslaughter last year “based on extreme mental or emotional disturbance."

Sylva was charged with second-degree murder in the March 2018 death of 35-year-old Eduardo Alejandro Cerezo at Queen Kaahumanu Center. Sylva admitted to slashing Cerezo’s throat with a machete, but his attorneys said he suffered from delusions linked to a mental illness.

Cerezo’s mother spoke in court during the sentencing hearing on Friday, calling Sylva “an evil monster” and begging the judge to have no leniency when determining his jail time.

Defense lawyers in the case sought probation, according to MauiNow.com’s Wendy Osher.

“He does not see Alex Cerezo as a person. He sees a demon, a creature from hell crawling out of the ground,” said defense attorney Ben Lowenthal, in video provided to Hawaii News Now from Maui Now.

This story will be updated.

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