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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, May 18, 2006

Gunman to serve at least 12 years

By Ken Kobayashi
Advertiser Courts Writer

Shaun Rodrigues

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A 25-year-old man who insists he's innocent was ordered by the Hawai'i Paroling Authority to serve at least 12 years of his 20-year sentence for a Manoa home invasion robbery.

Shaun Rodrigues maintains he was not the gunman who broke into the home in July 2000 and robbed a mother and daughter. But Circuit Judge Virginia Crandall found Rodrigues guilty after a nonjury trial and he was sentenced to the 20-year term for two counts of armed robbery, two counts of kidnapping and burglary.

Rodrigues remained free on $75,000 bond until he was ordered to prison in January after the Hawai'i Supreme Court affirmed the convictions.

Tommy Johnson, paroling authority administrator, said the three-member parole board set the minimum term Rodrigues must serve at 12 years because of the nature of the offenses.

City Deputy Prosecutor Russell Uehara said the victims believe the 12-year minimum is "appropriate."

"They were pleased that finally there can be some closure in the case," Uehara said.

The women don't "hate" Rodrigues, but "they just do not wish to have anything further to do with him," the deputy prosecutor said.

Uehara had asked the board to order Rodrigues to serve the full 20-year term, but said he believes the 12-year minimum is "fair."

Rodrigues' lawyer, William Harrison, who had asked that Rodrigues be immediately released on parole, said the board "incorrectly" set the minimum term.

Harrison vowed to continue trying to get Rodrigues released. Harrison said his options include asking the board to reconsider the minimum term, filing a challenge to the convictions in state court or seeking relief in federal court.

"My client is innocent," he said. "This is really a travesty of justice."

Harrison has argued that the victims were incorrect in identifying Rodrigues as the gunman.

But Uehara said the daughter as recently as this month once again confirmed Rodrigues was the intruder.

He said she has "absolutely no doubt about this."

Albert Tufono is chairman of the parole board. Dane Oda and Roy Reeber are the other two members.

Reach Ken Kobayashi at kkobayashi@honoluluadvertiser.com.