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Kauai man sentenced in wife’s 2006 death

LIHUE >> A Kauai man will spend the next decade in prison for the 2006 strangling 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 dead 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 in 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 issued the sentence.

The couple married in 1999 and separated in 2005. Sandra Galas had asked for a divorce after the separation, according to court documents. Before her death, she was living in fear of her husband, who had a short temper, according to prosecutor Justin Kollar. Kollar read to the court emails the victim had sent to her divorce attorney that described harassment by her husband.

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

In a statement to the court, Darren Galas thanked his supporters. “I do love Sandy and her boys,” he said. “We were separated but at times we were still intimate. She was a loving mother.”

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