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Big Island man sentenced in 2013 murder case

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    Martin F. Booth, 55, was indicted by a Kona grand jury Monday on one count of second-degree murder.

KAILUA-KONA >> A 56-year-old Kawaihae man has been sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole for killing a Kona musician last year.

West Hawaii Today reports Martin Frank Booth pleaded guilty Oct. 15 to second-degree murder in the death 37-year-old Robert Keawe Lopaka Ryder and was sentenced Monday.

3rd Circuit Court Judge Elizabeth Strance says Booth assumed the role of “judge, jury and executioner” in the death.

Police in an affidavit said the killing occurred after a 28-year-old woman living on Booth’s property said Ryder had assaulted her.

Prosecutors say Booth killed Ryder last year between Nov. 30 and Dec. 17 in Booth’s garage. Police in March found Ryder’s body in a lava field in South Kohala. He had been shot and hit with a hammer.

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