- Associated Press - Friday, August 14, 2015

WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) - A Molokai man has been sentenced to life in prison plus 20 years for convictions in the shooting death of the mother of his four children.

35-year-old Marlin Lavoie was convicted in June, The Maui News reported (http://bit.ly/1WpBvtd). Prosecutors said he shot 24-year-old Malia Kahalewai in the chest with a rifle in 2013 when she refused to leave her friend’s apartment with him.

2nd Circuit Judge Joseph Cardoza sentenced Lavoie to life in prison with the possibility of parole for the murder charge as well as two 10-year prison terms for weapons convictions.

He told the court he “could never hurt her,” though he was convicted of an abuse charge in 2008 involving Kahalewai. He said he had been doing his best to keep the family together, but “she kept leaving us.”

“I was just doing the right thing for my family, for my kids, for my woman,” he said.

Cordoza said in court that Lavoie’s references to Kahalewai being “my woman” were indicative of how he treated her.

“That’s how you refer to Malia - your woman,” Cardoza told Lavoie. “You don’t own her. And the way it appears you were treating her, it’s not surprising she left you on several occasions.”

Defense attorney Chris Dunn argued his client was mentally ill at the time of the shooting. He’d argued for the three prison terms to be served at the same time rather than consecutively.

“This is a redeemable person,” Dunn said.

Lavoie is appealing the case. A lawyer will be appointed for him later this month.

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Information from: The Maui News, http://www.mauinews.com

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