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Kauai man sentenced in connection to wife’s 2006 death

LIHUE >> A Kauai man will spend the next decade in prison for the 2006 death of his wife.

Darren Galas, 46, was sentenced to 10 years Wednesday after pleading no contest in January to a felony assault charge.

Sandra Galas, 27, was found strangled in the garage of her Eleele home on Kauai in January 2006. Her estranged husband was the prime suspect, but police didn’t have enough evidence to arrest him at the time, authorities said.

Darren Galas was indicted in October 2012 for second-degree murder, but pleaded no contest to the lesser charge after reaching an agreement with prosecutors.

“I truly, truly hope that the families will have some amount of closure and will focus on the positive memories of Sandra Mendonca Galas, as well as the future of the welfare of the minor children,” Judge Kathleen Watanabe said as she sentenced Darren Galas.

The two were married in 1999 and separated in 2005. Sandra Galas had asked for a divorce after the separation, according to court documents.

Before her death, Sandra Galas was living in fear of her husband, who had a short temper, prosecutor Justin Kollar said. Kollar read to the court emails that Sandra Galas had sent to her divorce attorney that described harassment by her husband.

The many delays in prosecuting the case have brought pain to family as well as the community, Kollar said.

“The day of reckoning is finally at hand for this defendant,” Kollar said.

Defense attorney Michael Green told the court that Darren Galas was committed to his family and had always shown them unconditional love. He said that police were never able to reach a conclusion about who was responsible for the death.

In a statement to the court, Darren Galas thanked his supporters.

“I do love Sandy and her boys,” Darren Galas said. “We were separated but at times we were still intimate. She was a loving mother.”

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