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Mom jailed for 80 years in starving

Denise Wright will have to spend at least 80 years of her life sentence behind bars before she is eligible for parole for nearly starving to death her 12-year-old daughter in 2007.

The Hawaii Paroling Authority set the 80-year minimum for the 37-year-old Wright last month. The prosecutor had asked for a 100-year minimum.

The parole board earlier set a 50-year minimum for Wright’s former husband, 36-year-old Melvin Wright Jr.

A state judge sentenced the Wrights to life prison terms last December after a jury found them guilty of the attempted second-degree murder.

When a city ambulance crew went to the Wrights’ Kinau Street apartment, the girl, Indigo, was unresponsive, near death and weighed just 29 pounds. Now 16, she is in foster care with her paternal grandparents in South Carolina.

Man who died after diving identified

A 56-year-old Honolulu man who died while diving off Hawaii Kai on Friday was identified by city officials as Lester Lee.

The Honolulu Medical Examiner’s office said an autopsy to determine Lee’s cause of death will be done tomorrow.

Lee had been diving in Maunalua Bay in water about 30 to 50 feet deep when he got into trouble, a Department of Emergency Services spokesman said.

He was brought to shore unconscious on a dive boat about 7 a.m. and died a short time later at a hyperbaric treatment center.

Injured hiker rescued in Palolo

Firefighters rescued an injured hiker found at the base of a waterfall on the trail to Kaau Crater in Palolo Valley about 3 p.m. yesterday.

The woman was airlifted via the Honolulu Fire Department’s helicopter to Palolo Valley District Park, where paramedics treated her and took her to a trauma center in serious condition, said Bryan Cheplic, spokesman for the city Department of Emergency Services.

While her hiking partner went to seek aid, two other hikers heard the injured woman’s cry for help and called authorities about 1:50 p.m., Honolulu fire Capt. Gary Lum said.

She appeared to have fallen at the base of the second waterfall about two miles in from the Waiomao Road trail head, he said. The waterfall is about 40 feet from the top, but it’s unclear if that’s how far she fell, Lum sad.

Suspects sought in Pearl City arson

Police are asking for the public’s help in finding suspects in a fire set at an abandoned two-story building in Pearl City.

The fire started about 12:25 p.m. Thursday near the rear of a building at 98-0077 Kamehameha Highway and was extinguished at 1:26 p.m. The building, located Ewa of the HomeWorld store, had been used by Stoneridge Towing until several months ago.

Firefighters said the blaze was deliberately set with accelerants in multiple locations.

Damage to the structure was estimated at $10,000.

Firefighters contained the fire to the building’s first floor, which had a room filled with bedding and other household items indicating homeless people lived there, a fire official said.

Police have no leads on the fire and ask that anyone with information about the suspect or suspects call the Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division at 529-3115.


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