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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, February 23, 2006

3 felonies get Puna man 5 years

By Kevin Dayton
Advertiser Big Island Bureau


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HILO, Hawai'i A Puna man charged with beating his pregnant girlfriend to death last year was sentenced to prison yesterday for three other violent felony cases dating back to 2003 and 2004.

Hilo Circuit Judge Glenn Hara sentenced Marwan Jackson to five concurrent five-year prison terms for a string of violent incidents that included dragging a police officer 30 feet with Jackson's car, and striking another man with a coconut that opened a gash on his head.

Jackson, 23, earlier was sentenced to probation in connection with those cases, but his probation was revoked last year. Police were looking for Jackson to re-arrest him in connection with those old cases when Jackson allegedly attacked his 34-year-old girlfriend, Sarah Fay, on Nov. 25.

Fay, who was pregnant with Jackson's child, suffered severe head injuries. She was declared legally dead, but was kept alive on life support until her baby boy could be safely delivered Dec. 12.

Jackson later was indicted on charges of second-degree murder, first-degree sexual assault, kidnapping and violation of a restraining order that Fay had obtained last year to keep Jackson away from her. He pleaded not guilty, and is scheduled for trial on Aug. 7.

In a statement to Hara yesterday, Jackson said he had been a firefighter in California, and worked building rock walls on the Big Island. He added that "I get along great with the community."

He told the judge: "I'm not a monster. I'm an honest, hard-working person, and a father that's learning."

Jackson's lawyer Stanton Oshiro argued Jackson should be returned to probation. Oshiro said Jackson failed to complete drug treatment programs or alternatives to violence because he did not have the money to pay the fees, or did not have transportation.

Hara replied that while Jackson presents himself in court as a "normal person," he has compiled a history of violent acts that show he is a danger to the community.

Hara ruled that Jackson can serve the five-year sentences for the older felony convictions simultaneously, which means he cannot be required to serve more than five years altogether.

Under state law, Hara could not consider the pending charges against Jackson in connection with Fay's death when sentencing Jackson for the felony convictions.

Friends of Sarah Fay have questioned the way authorities handled the earlier felony convictions, suggesting that if Jackson had been sentenced to prison earlier, Fay might not have been killed.

Yesterday's concurrent sentences were a disappointment to Deputy Prosecutor Michael Kagami, who had urged Hara to make Jackson serve his sentences consecutively.

"If anybody cried out for consecutive, it was this guy," Kagami said after the hearing.

Reach Kevin Dayton at kdayton@honoluluadvertiser.com.