POSTED: 11:59 a.m. HST, Apr 2, 2014
A 29-year-old career criminal was sentenced to 10 years for causing the death of his best friend during a high-speed chase where the two tried to elude police 16 months ago.
Circuit Court Glenn Kim on Wednesday sentenced Steven M. Sandry, of Wahiawa, to 10 years for causing the first-degree negligent homicide death of Michael Daraban Jr. ,39, Dec. 2, 2012. He plead guilty to the negligent homicide and other related charges on Jan. 14.
Police said Sandry was the driver of Daraban's Honda sedan when it ran a red light on Kunia road at 7:10 a.m.. The Honda hit a white Camry that was turning into Foote Gate at Schofield Barracks and slammed into a traffic signal pole rolling over several times.
"The impact was great," said Kim that it tore the Honda in half.
Daraban was ejected from the car and died at the scene.
Kim said it was "a minor miracle" that the two occupants of the Camry escaped major injuries.
An hour before the crash police had unsuccessfully tried to serve a drug search warrant on Daraban at his Wahiawa home.
Officers located the Honda in Waialua and began following it. When Sandry spotted a marked police car, he sped away, police said.
Following Wednesday's hearing the victim's sister, Maurica Daniel, told reporters she was on the phone with Daraban during the high-speed police chase and just before the crash.
Daniel said she heard her brother tell Sandry to end the pursuit and that police could call him on his cell phone.
"To me the punishment is not enough," Daniel said.
In his brief statement Sandry apologized to the victim's family.
"I take full responsibility for everything," Sandry said.
Describing the victim as "a good friend," Sandry added: "If I could take back everything, I would."
The victim's mother, Charlene Daraban, told the court: "I am not angry. I don't hate him (Sandry).
"Whatever happens today, happens.
"I think he made poor choices that resulted ultimately in the death of my son."
Daraban after the hearing told reporters that she was satisfied with the judge's actions. "There has to be consequences for actions taken. But it's sad another mother is going to lose a son in another way. That's sad."
During the hearing Daniel told the court that because of Sandry's actions "my brother will never ever get to see me get married...he won't get to see his daughter get married that will happen shortly."
She added: "I will never get to see my brother, except when I go to his grave."
In passing sentencing on Sandry, Kim noted the defendant's extensive criminal history over the past decade which included car theft, racing, and marijuana and crystal meth violations.
Kim said that had just completed a prison sentence for auto theft in January 2012.
Besides the 10 years for negligent homicide, Sandry was sentenced to 5 years for auto theft and one year for driving without a license and possessing a butterfly knife which would be served concurrently.