HONOLULU (KHON2) — A judge sentenced Myisha Lee Armitage to 10 years in prison for the hit-and-run death of Kaulana Werner. Armitage was drunk when she killed Werner near his Nanakuli home.
Paula Werner, Kaulana’s mother, said it isn’t enough.
“I don’t think justice was served,” said Werner as she held back her tears.
Kaulana Werner was just 19 when he was killed by Armitage crossing the street in front of his house in April of 2016.
Friday, Armitage was sentenced to serve 10 years for negligent homicide and another 10 years for fleeing the scene. She’ll serve both sentences at the same time.
“I wish that it could have been 20 years or more,” Werner said.
“She took a life and yet she can serve ten years or less and come out and spend the rest of her life here and walk and talk and hold her daughters hand. I can’t,” Werner said.
According to court documents, prosecutors asked the judge to give Armitage consecutive sentences, which would have meant she’d spend more time in prison. But the sentencing order said, “the court cannot find that the defendant’s crimes, which were committed in a split second and without stratagem or malicious intent, to be crimes that reflect the egregious and/or prolonged criminality where the interests of justice require consecutive sentencing.”
“There’s got to be some extra egregiousness, or maliciousness,” explained attorney Megan Kau. Kau met with the Werner family as legal counsel.
“You can’t just say, ‘I don’t like you you’re getting consecutive terms.”
But to Werners, who are left with only their son’s ashes, it isn’t fair.
KHON: “Did (Armitage) apologize or say anything?”
“No, she didn’t . That’s what we were waiting for– an apology,” Ed Werner said.
Werner said he forgives Armitage and hopes she can learn from her mistakes.
“Today there’s no winners. We lost, she’s going (to prison). Now we just move forward,” Werner explained.
He added that his family plans to continue their work educating the public about the dangers of drunk driving and pursuing harsher penalties for those convicted of crimes resulting in death due to drunk driving.
The Werners were instrumental in passing Kaulana’s Law, which can increase the maximum penalty for negligent homicide cases.
Armitage’s attorney, Andrew Park, declined to comment on the sentencing but said they are looking into an appeal.