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Man, 72, sentenced to 20 years for manslaughter

By Rosemarie Bernardo

LAST UPDATED: 4:07 p.m. HST, Mar 31, 2011


A Circuit Court judge has sentenced a 72-year-old man to 20 years in prison for fatally shooting a 54-year-old woman he had wanted to be his girlfriend.

Melvin Yoshida was sentenced today after pleaded guilty to manslaughter and a firearms offense involving the death of Clare Silva, grandmother of three and mother of Tyffny Riordan. 

Yoshida wanted Silva to be his girlfriend, but Silva just wanted to be friends. 

On April 12, 2009, Yoshida fatally shot Silva in the entrance of her apartment at Punchbowl Homes following an argument. Yoshida said he was going to shoot himself but his gun jammed, Deputy Public Defender Darcia Forester said yesterday. 

Yoshida was originally charged with second-degree murder. Under a plea deal, he agreed to a 20-year sentence for manslaughter. The state sought a consecutive 20-year sentence but was denied today by Circuit Judge Dexter Del Rosario.

After the sentencing, Riordan said, "In a way, it would've been nice to see him get the full 40 just for the simple fact that he chose my mother's fate and he got to choose his own and I don't think that that was fair," she said. "Aside from that, I respect the judge's decision and he won't see the light of day again."

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