POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 6, 2011
Sato Franklin Sigrah apologized Tuesday for entering an unlocked Kapiolani Boulevard apartment and attacking its sleeping occupants with a kitchen knife he found in the apartment in an apparent random act of violence.
"I'll live the rest of my life knowing that I attacked an innocent family and (took) the life of their beloved Lyola Mesebeluu," he said.
A state judge sentenced Sigrah, 22, Tuesday to the mandatory life prison term with the opportunity for parole for second-degree murder.
Sigrah also said he hopes Mesebeluu's family will someday forgive him.
Police said Sigrah fatally stabbed the 27-year-old Mesebeluu on Oct. 11, 2008, and injured Mesebeluu's husband and then-2-year-old daughter with the knife.
According to the terms of his plea deal with prosecutors, Sigrah agreed to serve at least 35 years of his life prison term before he is allowed to request parole. The Hawaii Paroling Authority will decide whether it will be longer than 35 years.
The state dropped an attempted first-degree murder charge, which carries a life prison term without the opportunity for parole, and reduced two second-degree attempted murder charges to first-degree assaults.
Police said Sigrah entered the Mesebeluus' apartment after testing the front doors of other apartments in the complex.
Sigrah told at least one mental health expert the court ordered to examine him that he did not know his victims. He told police he doesn't remember what happened because he blacked out after drinking three beers and at least half of a 1.75-liter bottle of vodka.
The state said Sigrah's blood alcohol content 2 1⁄2 hours after the attacks was 0.19, more than twice the legal threshold for drunken driving.