A grand jury indicts the suspect in last week's mayhem
POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Jun 9, 2011
LAST UPDATED: 2:09 a.m. HST, Jun 9, 2011
Police recovered drugs, drug paraphernalia, a hunting knife and a pair of brass knuckles from the car of the 28-year-old man indicted by an Oahu grand jury Wednesday on charges stemming from a shooting rampage last week that left one woman dead and two others hospitalized, a prosecutor told a state judge yesterday.
Toby Stangel, 28, was indicted on 20 counts that include charges of murder, attempted murder and drug violations involving cocaine, marijuana and a drug prescribed for panic and anxiety attacks.
He is accused of what police have said appeared to be random attacks in the shootings at three locations that started early Friday at Kapahulu Avenue and Kapiolani Boulevard.
It ended in Aiea, where police caught up with his car on the shoulder of H-1 Freeway and arrested him.
The charges include three counts of first-degree attempted murder of trying to kill more than one person and firing shots at two police officers.
If convicted of first-degree attempted murder, Stangel would be sentenced to a mandatory life term without parole, the state's harshest sentence.
City Deputy Prosecutor Dean Young told Circuit Judge Richard Perkins that Stangel shot at multiple victims at three locations with a 9 mm semiautomatic firearm that had a magazine with an "illegal capacity."
One of the counts involves a "prohibited detachable magazine" that can hold 15 rounds. State law allows 10 rounds maximum.
Tammy Nguyen, a mother of 10 and driver of a van stopped at a red light, was fatally shot after suffering a gunshot wound to her head, according to Young.
Two other drivers were wounded on H-1 Freeway near Likelike Highway, and they remain in the hospital.
Stangel is also accused of later firing at two police officers conducting a traffic stop on Moanalua Freeway.
The officers were 10 to 12 feet away and had to duck for cover, according to Young.
Police chased Stangel's car and arrested him after he pulled over to the H-1 Freeway shoulder, police said.
Young said police recovered "numerous drugs," drug paraphernalia, the hunting knife — 10 to 12 inches long — and brass knuckles from the car. The indictment's counts also include illegal possession of a drug pipe and promotion of a harmful drug, the prescription drug alprazolam.
Young said a 9 mm firearm was found just outside the car.
The casings from each of the three shooting locations were identical and matched the 9 mm firearm, Young said.
The indictment's other counts include using a firearm to commit a felony and firearm and ammunition violations.
Perkins approved Stangel's bail of $5 million.
Stangel will be arraigned on the charges in Circuit Court at a later date.
Young also said Stangel already received a deferral in a firearms case.
In that case, Stangel was charged with carrying a firearm without a permit in November 2003.
He pleaded no contest, but the judge deferred accepting the plea in 2004 and gave Stangel a chance to have the case dismissed if he abided by conditions similar to probation for five years.
He was granted early release from those conditions in 2007 and the firearms charge was dismissed, even though court records show he had convictions for drunken driving in 2005 and misdemeanor criminal property damage in 2006.
Under the conditions for getting the dismissal, Stangel was supposed to comply with state and federal laws.
But a transcript of the 2007 hearing indicates that the prosecutor, Stangel's lawyer and Circuit Judge Virginia Crandall, who approved the early release, did not know about the prior convictions.
Offenders who are placed on deferrals are monitored by probation officials.
But there is no indication from the transcript that Stangel's probation officer reported the prior convictions.
Deputy Public Defender Ray Fukuhara told the judge that Stangel's probation officer was recommending the early release.
Deputy Prosecutor Wayne Tashima objected because the case involved a firearm and although no one was hurt, the weapon was fired.
But Tashima did not mention the prior offenses. Dave Koga, city Prosecutor's Office spokesman, said Tashima did not know about the convictions.
Crandall said she was granting the early discharge because of the circumstances of the case and Stangel's "lack of a prior record other than this offense."
Tashima was handling the case for fellow Deputy Prosecutor Franklin Pacarro, now in private practice. Pacarro said he would have to review the file to recall the specifics of the case, but said that if he had been notified by the probation office about the convictions, he would have sought a revocation of the deferral.
If the deferral had been revoked, Stangel could have been sentenced on the firearm charge, which carries a prison term of up to 10 years.
Cheryl Marlow, administrator of Adult Client Services, which monitors offenders such as Stangel, said she could not comment because probation records are confidential under the law.