Man convicted of Kaneohe murder gets life plus 90 years
By Jim Dooley
Advertiser Staff Writer
“You have got to be locked up for a very long time,” a judge said this morning in sentencing 29-year-old Jerrico Lindsey to life in prison plus 90 years for the May 2007 murder of drug dealer Benjamin Grajeda in the middle of a busy Kaneohe street.
Circuit Judge Steven Alm called the murder a “brazen, dangerous” act that threatened passersby and warranted the stiff sentence for “the protection of the public.”
Alm sentenced Lindsey, the son of a Waianae school teacher who came here from Alabama in 2005, to life behind bars with the possibility of parole for a second-degree murder conviction. He added 90 more years for Lindsey’s conviction on additional crimes, including kidnaping, robbery, and firearms offenses.
The sentence came after Lindsey's mother, Deborah Butler, asked for mercy, echoing her son’s claims that co-defendant William Freeman Jr., 37, committed the murder.
Butler said her son is “a god-fearing man” who has supported charitable causes and financially supported underprivileged children on Maui and Leeward Oahu.
Defense attorney Thomas Otake said Lindsey has no previous criminal convictions as an adult and argued that a life sentence was adequate punishment for his crimes.
Lindsey did not address the judge because he is appealing his conviction.
Deputy Prosecutor Darrell Wong called for the consecutive sentences, saying Lindsey is a “cold-blooded” murderer.
Wong said Lindsey fired at least 22 rounds from a semi-automatic assault rifle at Grajeda after the victim escaped from the trunk of Lindsey’s car and fled down the middle of Kaneohe Bay Drive.
Alm noted that after Lindsey shot Grajeda multiple times and turned to go back to his car, Grajeda was still alive and trying to crawl away.
“You did turn around and give him a few more blasts,” Alm said.