Tuesday, January 9, 2001
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Posted on: Tuesday, January 9, 2001

Murderer receives second life term

By William Cole
Advertiser Courts Writer

Samuel Cooper Jr. was sentenced yesterday in Circuit Court to a second life term with parole for murder — this time for the May 1999 strangulation of Honolulu symphony volunteer Fred Cramer.

Samuel Cooper Jr. "selected victims carefully," said city deputy prosecutor Eric Sacks.

Advertiser library photo • June 16, 2000

Cooper pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in November in Cramer’s killing.

Cooper, 35, from Wahiawa, was sentenced in August to a mandatory life term for the August 1999 bludgeoning of Waikiki video store clerk

Keith Miyashiro. Prosecutors said the murders, just three months apart, were committed during robberies.

The sentences will be served concurrently. The Hawaii Paroling Authority in November set a 100-year minimum term before Cooper is eligible for parole in Miyashiro’s killing.

"So he’s not getting out — and he shouldn’t get out," said city deputy prosecutor Eric Sacks, who described Cooper as a "cowardly killer."

"He (Cooper) chose his victims very carefully," Sacks said. "Keith Miyashiro was under 140 pounds. He was a very diminutive fellow, and Fred Cramer was over 80 years old."

In exchange for the plea in Cramer’s killing, prosecutors agreed not to seek the enhanced penalty of life without parole for cases involving murder victims over 60. Cramer was 81. Cooper chose not to make any statement at yesterday’s sentencing.

"He expressed remorse about what happened — not on the record, but personally (to me)," said deputy public defender Ronette Kawakami. Cooper also received a 20-year minimum term as a repeat offender.

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