HONOLULU (KHON2) — Two years after three lives were taken in a high-speed crash on Ala Moana Boulevard, the punishment was handed down against the man who was behind the wheel.
Alins Sumang was sentenced to 30 years behind bars as part of a plea agreement for the 2019 crash that also injured six people. Before the sentencing, family members got the chance to tell Sumang what he took from them.
It has been two and a half years since that tragic night, and for the victims’ families, the emotions are still raw. Police say Sumang was drunk and behind the wheel when he struck a pedestrian island on Ala Moana Boulevard killing three people: Travis Lau, Casimir Pokorny and Reino Ikeda.
The family of Travis Lau is still heartbroken at the loss of a gifted doctor who did so much for the community.
“My loss is particularly hard because I recently retired to help Travis develop his skills and projects… We never got to run a marathon together,” said Dr. William Lau, Travis’ father.
“It’s alarming to me that the defendant will be able to be released from prison at an age where he can still enjoy some quality of life even after his actions led to extreme consequences, that he himself will never have to suffer. Three people will never come back home, and their families will always perpetually feel the pain of their loss,” said Melissa Lau, Travis’ widow.
Sumang also read a letter of apology in court.
“I know I don’t deserve to ask for this, but please forgive me for my actions that day. And if its not possible, just know that I’m truly sorry for every minute of that day. Not a day goes by that I wish I could trade places with them and turn back the hands of time,” said Sumang.
The judge was clearly moved by the emotion in the courtroom as she fought back tears when she announced the sentence.
“There is no sentence that I could give that would be to the amount of pain and suffering,” said Judge Trish Morikawa.
Prosecutors say at this point, Sumang can be eligible parole in less than seven years, but they will be asking the parole board to make it mandatory that he serves the whole 30-year sentence.
Watch below: Alins Sumang appears in court on three manslaughter charges on Jan. 31, 2019.
On March 10, Sumang pled guilty to three counts of manslaughter and four counts of second-degree assault as part of a plea agreement with the Prosecutor’s Office.
“Due to the egregious nature of Sumang’s crimes that took the lives of three innocent people and injured four more, we did not believe that a 20-year sentence for manslaughter was sufficient. For that reason, we insisted that Sumang’s prison terms run consecutively. While we cannot replace the lives of the victims, we can at the very least assure that the public is protected from this dangerous man. This 30-year sentence provides that assurance”STEVE ALM, HONOLULU PROSECUTING ATTORNEY
There was also an additional five years for violating probation, bumping the total up to 30 years. Alm explained the only way to guarantee Sumang got that prison time was to enter into a plea agreement.
“You never know what will happen in a trial, the defendant also had the option to just plead guilty to all the charges, and then it would be up to the judge to decide what the sentence would be,” he said.
Lau felt there is no justice for the victims and believes the sentence is weak.
“We understand as to why this was most likely a better choice versus going to trial and just taking a chance, right? Taking that risk and seeing where it goes, right? But at the same time too, like for us, that’s never going to make us feel any better,” she said.
Sumang’s attorney told KHON2 his client took full responsibility and is very remorseful for his actions.