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The case of a murdered mother that went from cold to hot

By Nana Ohkawa
Published On: Oct 31 2012 04:42:00 PM HST

A 2006 Kauai case has new witnesses and interviews.

KAUAI, Hawaii -

The case of a murdered mother that went from cold to hot. Darren Galas of Kalaheo is accused of strangling his wife Sandra back in 2006. On Wednesday he pleaded not guilty.

When the 27-year-old mother, Sandra Galas, was found strangled in her car in Kauai, police had no suspects and no arrests. It stayed that way for 6 years.

This, despite a relationship with her husband Darren Galas that friends described as abusive. Friends say Sandra wanted out.

"We all know she made some changes, had been very courageous, made changes, and was really looking for a better life for her and her children," said Renae Hamilton, executive director of Kauai YWCA.

Now there's a major break. A newly created cold case unit came up with new witnesses, new interviews, and now an arrest.

Prosecuting attorney, Shaylene Iseri-Carvahlo, said, "There were evidence that we collected not only with Galas but with new other witnesses, and some of them who had not provided statements in the initial investigation."

Darren Galas's lawyer insists there's no new evidence.

"He's really upset, all of a sudden they question him again he cooperated completely the first round. He could have gotten a lawyer and told them he didn't want to talk to them," said Darren Galas's lawyer Michael Green.

Sandra's family struggles every day with her loss.

"The dad was just overwhelmed with emotion he had been such an advocate for Sandra," said Iseri-Carvahlo.

Her father created a golf tournament with the YWCA to make sure no one forgot about her, and to raise money for abused women and children.

Darren Galas faces a maximum sentence of life with the possibility of parole. Bail is set at 1 million dollars. His lawyer says he will ask for a bail reduction.

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