Friday, November 27, 2015         

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Kauai man indicted in estranged wife's murder

By Rosemarie Bernardo


A Kauai grand jury indicted a 40-year-old man Tuesday in the 2006 murder of his estranged wife.

Darren Galas of Kalaheo was indicted on a charge of second-degree murder in the death of Sandra Mendonca Galas, 27. He faces a maximum life sentence with the possibility of parole.

Attorney Michael Green, representing Darren Galas, was to seek a reduction of Galas' $1 million bail today in Kauai District Court. "This is a terrible, terrible tragedy, but it's my good-faith belief that the person who committed this crime is somewhere out there walking the streets of Kauai or perhaps in custody on other, unrelated charges," Green said.

In January 2006, Sandra Galas, a mother of two, was found dead in her car, which was parked in the garage of her Ele­ele home. She died of strangulation from a plastic cord and blunt force trauma to her head.

Sandra Galas, an assistant food and beverage manager at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa in Poipu, had filed for divorce against Darren Galas and was in a custody battle with her husband at the time of her death.

Her father, Lawrence Mendonca, could not be reached for comment Tuesday. Mendonca and his wife, Toshie, offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of their daughter's killer. Sandra Galas was the younger of two children.

Green said there hasn't been any new evidence in the case for six years.

Kauai County Deputy Prosecutor Jake Dela­plane declined to comment on what evidence was used to link Galas to his estranged wife's death.

Galas has remarried and is employed with the county Water Department. Law enforcement officers arrested Galas on Friday at Koloa Big Save.

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