Updated at 5:21 p.m., Thursday, May 24, 2007
Man gets 25 years for 1998 killing of Army officer
Advertiser StaffA 26-year-old man was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison this afternoon after he admitted shooting to death an Army helicopter pilot at the Wai'anae Army Recreation Center in 1998.
Roberto Miguel, who was 17 at the time of the shooting, also was ordered to pay $979,699 in restitution to the family of Army Warrant Officer John Latchum Jr.
Miguel was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Helen Gillmor.
On the night of June 3, 1998, Latchum and his wife were vacationing at the recreation center with their two children. Latchum was awakened by his wife, who thought she heard someone trying to break in.
According to a 1998 federal criminal complaint, Miguel admitted he was with several friends at the recreation center and had a .22-caliber rifle the night Latchum was shot.
According to the complaint, Miguel said he fired a single shot toward Latchum at the urging of another youth.
The incident began when Wendy Latchum heard the door lock to their cabin being jiggled at about 1 a.m. and saw eight people on the lanai, the complaint said.
She yelled at the group, and they ran to a wooded area near the beach, it said.
Her husband awoke and yelled at the group from the lanai. Wendy Latchum reported hearing what she thought was a firecracker, and that her husband told her he had been shot. He was shot once in the chest with a .22-caliber rifle.
The bullet pierced his heart and he died on the cabin's front porch.