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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, February 22, 2007

Lorenzo sentence delayed again

By Jim Dooley
Advertiser Staff Writer

Prosecutor Peter Carlisle, left, talks to defense attorney Frank Fernandez before a hearing for John K. “Patrick” Lorenzo, right.

RICHARD AMBO | The Honolulu Advertiser

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Karl Sakamoto

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The long-delayed sentencing of accused murderer John K. "Patrick" Lorenzo in a pending drug case was put off again yesterday for another week.

City Prosecutor Peter Carlisle personally argued that Circuit Judge Karl Sakamoto should sentence Lorenzo to an extended prison term of 20 years. But Sakamoto put off the hearing after Lorenzo asked that his new attorney in the murder case be allowed to represent him in the drug case.

Lorenzo, 32, was indicted last week on murder, attempted murder, kidnapping and other charges connected to the Feb. 10 shooting death of off-duty state deputy sheriff Daniel Browne-Sanchez.

Browne-Sanchez was working off-duty at Osake Sushi Bar and Lounge on Kapi'olani Boulevard when Lorenzo allegedly entered in the early morning hours of Feb. 10, armed with a silencer-equipped handgun. After demanding cash from employees, Lorenzo fatally shot Browne-Sanchez, according to prosecutors and police.

Lorenzo has pleaded not guilty to those charges. The new offense occurred while he was awaiting sentencing on four drug charges first brought against him in 2005.

Sentencing in the drug case was delayed four times last year and this year after Sakamoto granted Lorenzo time to complete drug treatment.

Carlisle said last week that Browne-Sanchez would still be alive today if Lorenzo had been sent to prison on the drug charges in a timely manner.

Lorenzo's lawyer in the drug case, Frank Fernandez, asked yesterday to be replaced by Walter Rodby, the court-appointed lawyer in the murder case. Lorenzo "strongly requested" that Rodby be allowed to take over the drug case, Fernandez said. And he told the judge that Lorenzo has not paid his legal bills "for a number of months."

But Carlisle objected, saying Fernandez would be needed at next week's sentencing hearing because of his familiarity with the drug case.

Rodby said during the hearing and later outside court that he knew nothing about the drug case and did not know until yesterday that Lorenzo wanted him to handle it.

"I just found out about this hearing yesterday," Rodby said.

Sakamoto directed both of Lorenzo's attorneys to be present at next week's hearing.

Lorenzo has been held in lieu of $5 million bail since his arrest last week. Yesterday, Sakamoto revoked bail. Lorenzo is being held at the Federal Detention Center near the airport.

The state has a contract with the federal government to house certain prisoners facing state criminal charges, sometimes for safety reasons. Federal officials have expressed possible interest in seeking charges of their own against Lorenzo, but that issue is unresolved.

Reach Jim Dooley at jdooley@honoluluadvertiser.com.