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Ewa Beach man apologizes for fatal fire, sentenced to 35 years

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 1:06 p.m. HST, Nov 20, 2012

Michael P. Dahilig apologized in state court this morning to the family of a 97-year-old woman who died in a fire he started at her home, calling his actions “reckless and idiotic.”

Dahilig, 35, of Ewa Beach, was sentenced to 35 years in prison for manslaughter, burglary and possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia. It is the sentence to which he agreed when he pleaded guilty in September.

The state said Dahilig admitted he used a lighter torch on March 30 to try to cut the lock of a storage shed to a Pearl City home he had burglarized twice before. The shed caught fire and spread to the home.

Resident Betty Hagihara was unable to escape and died of smoke inhalation.

The following day neighbors spotted Dahilig looking through the charred remains of the fire. 

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