Posted at 12:49 p.m., Wednesday, March 8, 2006
Murderer sentenced to life without parole
By KEN KOBAYASHI
Advertiser Courts Writer
Ronald J. Howe was found guilty of murdering 46-year-old Robyn Mae Nakaji after he decided not to challenge the charge and pleaded no contest last year.
Howe today denied that he killed the victim and asked to withdraw his no contest plea, but Circuit Judge Dexter Del Rosario denied the request. The judge imposed the mandatory sentence for a murder that is considered particularly cruel, heinous or egregious.
Nakaji's body was found with the head, mouth and hands bound by tape and the body wrapped in a blanket and tarp. The throat was also slashed.
Under state law, Howe can ask the governor to commute the sentence to life with parole after he serves 20 years behind bars. If granted, it would be up to the Hawai'i Paroling Authority to decide if he should be released.