Oahu man tied to prison drug smuggler killed in Las Vegas after high speed police chase

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Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 4:28 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Honolulu man with a criminal record stretching about two decades was fatally shot by Nevada Highway Patrol troopers Tuesday after a high-speed chase.

Douglas Claiborne was in a stolen car, and hit a patrolman during the chase who was trying to lay spike strips on the road.

That patrolman died Thursday.

Las Vegas crash scene
Las Vegas crash scene(KSNV)

Claiborne had been in and out of the Oahu Community Correctional Center, and also served time at the Halawa Correctional Facility and the Federal Detention Center.

The 60-year old was part of a drug smuggling operation at Halawa in 2013. Federal documents show he admitted that he paid prison guard Mark Damas to smuggle meth into the facility.

Halawa prison guard Mark Damas' arrest in 2014
Halawa prison guard Mark Damas' arrest in 2014(None)

“He really just had a drug problem for years and years and the fact that he was able to get drugs into the prison just gives you an example of how strong his drug addiction was,” said Victor Bakke, who was Claiborne’s attorney for more than 15 years.

In addition to drug crimes, previous arrests include assault. He was most recently cited by Honolulu police for violating COVID restrictions, including mask mandates and park closure rules.

Claiborne's citations from 2020
Claiborne's citations from 2020(None)

Bakke said Claiborne was living on the streets even though he had money as the beneficiary of a trust fund.

“He was never truly homeless but he tended to hang out with the homeless people and was known to sleep outside, sleep with the homeless in the encampment,” Bakke said, adding that gave Claiborne easier access to feed his addiction.

Claiborne had been going back and forth between Vegas and Oahu after his release from prison.

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