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Man with history of DUI sentenced to 20 years for traffic death


A 30-year-old man with a history of driving while intoxicated has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for a 2012 crash on Maui that killed a Washington state woman.

Walter Mark, 30, pleaded no contest to manslaughter, drunken driving and other charges in the 2012 death of Devon King, 21, a student from Auburn, Washington, attending the University of Hawaii Maui in Kahului.

2nd Circuit Judge Rhonda Loo told Mark on Friday that he had not learned from his crimes and had no remorse for (his) actions, The Maui News reported.

“No one pried open your mouth that day and forced alcohol down your throat. . . You decided to do all of this by yourself,” she said. “This was no accident.”

Mark was first convicted of drunken driving on July 10, 2012. Three months later, on Oct. 28, Mark picked up a friend in his sister-in-law’s SUV to drink beer and smoke marijuana, said Deputy Prosecutor Mark Simonds. He was clearly drunk and friends told him that they would drive him home, Simonds said, but Mark ignored them.

Just before 7 p.m., witnesses spotted Mark driving recklessly through the Queen Kaahumanu Shopping Center. Moments later, Simonds said, he crashed into King and Taylor Polston, 19, who were walking home from a grocery story with Ashlyn Weaver, 19, along a dirt shoulder of a Kahului street.

King died at a hospital. Polston suffered a double compound fracture.

Mark’s blood alcohol level was more than twice the Hawaii legal limit. In a letter to the court, he said he wanted to plead insanity.

“I know that what happened wasn’t done out of any heinous act,” he wrote. “It was a true accident.”

Defense attorney Walter Vierra asked Judge Loo to release Mark, who had served one year and 175 days. Mark had no prior felony convictions, Vierra said, and would be deported to the Federated States of Micronesia.

Simonds argued for the 20-year sentence.

In a separate incident in June 2013, Mark was again convicted of drunken driving.

“This pattern of conduct can only lead to one conclusion: That Walter Mark is a serious danger to any community that he lives in,” Simonds said. “Mark does have a serious problem with alcohol, but he also has a serious problem with responsibility.”

Loo banned Mark from driving for the rest of his life and ordered him to pay $2,600 in restitution.

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