Hawaii News | Newswatch Newswatch By Star-Advertiser staff Oct. 5, 2011 Mahalo for supporting Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Enjoy this free story! Read more Mahalo for reading the Honolulu Star-Advertiser! You're reading a premium story. Read the full story with our Print & Digital Subscription. Subscribe Now Read this story for free: Watch an ad or complete a survey Log In Already a subscriber? Log in now to continue reading this story. Activate Digital Account Print subscriber but without online access? Activate your Digital Account now. High court rejects review of killer’s case The Hawaii Supreme Court refused Tuesday to review a state appeals court ruling that affirmed Kirk Lankford’s conviction of murdering a Japanese visitor whose body was never recovered. Lankford was found guilty of the 2007 murder of 21-year-old Masumi Watanabe. He was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole. Lankford testified at his jury trial that he accidentally sideswiped Watanabe with his truck while she was walking on Pupukea Road. He said he tried to drive her to her home, but she became upset, dived out of the truck and hit her head on a rock and died. Lankford said he disposed of the body off a Windward beach. Circuit Judge Karl Sakamoto, who sentenced Lankford, indicated he did not believe his testimony, calling him a "predator." NEIGHBOR ISLANDS Pohakuloa wildfire closes Saddle Road Saddle Road was closed Tuesday for an indefinite period because of a large brush fire near the 45-mile marker, Hawaii County police said. U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii said a wildfire at the Army’s Pohakuloa Training Area burned an estimated 700 acres and is spreading northeast from the Keamuku Maneuver Area toward Saddle Road. The fire began at about 11 a.m. Tuesday and was uncontained as of about 4 p.m., the Army said. The cause of the fire is under investigation. No Army training activity was taking place at Keamuku Maneuver Area at that time, the Army said. Police said no traffic was being allowed beyond the 8-mile marker of Saddle Road on the Hilo side, while traffic was turned around at the Saddle Road junction with Route 190. Routes 19 and 11 remained open. Missing swimmer is subject of search Coast Guard and Kauai County personnel searched Tuesday for a missing 66-year-old male swimmer in the vicinity of Kiahuna Plantation near Poipu, the Coast Guard said. Charles Slezak, a visitor from Canoga Park, Calif., was last seen at about 3:30 p.m. Monday. Slezak is described as 6 feet tall with a medium build. He was last seen wearing black-and-white shorts, a blue collared shirt and carrying pink swim fins. A Coast Guard air crew aboard an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Barbers Point was searching the area. The Coast Guard cutter Galveston Island, a 110-foot patrol boat, was sent from Nawiliwili Harbor to join the search. Anyone with information on Slezak’s whereabouts is asked to call Kauai police at 241-1711. Previous Story Hughes Corp. revives plan for Kakaako Next Story In Arizona bull run, danger, yes. liability, no.