Stangel apologizes before sentenced to 3 life terms

Published On: Aug 14 2013 01:43:56 PM HST   Updated On: Aug 14 2013 08:24:59 PM HST

Harsh words from the judge and a heartfelt plea for mercy from the defendant and his family.

There was emotional testimony Wednesday morning in the courtroom as Toby Stangel was sentenced for his role in the deadly rampage on the streets of Honolulu two years ago.

"There are no words I can put together to explain how truly sorry I am for my reckless actions and I’m reminded of it daily," said Toby Stangel who says everything he did that fateful night of June 3, 2011 was spurred by drugs and paranoia.

"That night my mind was telling me my life was in jeopardy. I was terrified and in fear of losing my life," said Stangel.

Stangel didn't lose his life, but he took one, and nearly claimed others.  He opened fire on and around the H-1 Freeway, and killed Tammy Nguyen, a mother of 10.

Stangel also wounded two others.  Nguyen's family declined to speak in court, but several sons and daughters, plus her widowed husband sobbed quietly in the gallery.

Stangel's mother said she is suffering, too, and pleaded for mercy for her son and asked for a chance at parole.

"I still love him with all my heart and I have great hope for him that God isn’t done with him yet," said Karen Stangel.

Judge Glenn Kim showed no mercy, calling it an utterly senseless death and cited Stangel's years of drug abuse, all while illegally carrying a gun around.

"What you've essentially got is a lethal time bomb just waiting to go off," said Judge Kim.

Kim said he was at a loss for words at the senselessness and depravity of Stangel's actions.

"He took the public streets and highways of this beautiful city of ours and he turned them into a literal killing zone," said Kim.

Judge Kim handed down three consecutive life terms, which carry a minimum of 20 years each, which is essentially life in prison for the 30-year-old Stangel, who will be 90 at the youngest before he could ever get out.

The Nguyen family said they were happy with the verdict and will help them to move forward.

"I think he expressed their feelings perfectly and he gave a good sentence," said deputy Prosecutor Dwight Nadamoto.

The paroling authority will decide exactly how long Stangel will have to serve for his conviction.


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