Giddens gets life without parole

The Hanama’ulu man found guilty at trial this February of shooting and killing his neighbor and shooting another man in Sept. 2000, was given a minimum sentence of life without the possibility of parole.

Howard Ikaika Giddens, 29, was handed these minimum terms by the Hawaii Paroling Authority at a parole hearing held this week.

He was tried in Fifth Circuit Court by Judge Clifford Nakea in February in a non-jury trial and sentenced on May 30.

The concurrent sentencing terms also included 50 years for first-degree murder; 50 years for second-degree murder; 50 years for second-degree attempted murder; 10 years for wrongful place to keep a firearm; 5 years for first-degree reckless endangerment; and 10 years for first-degree criminal property damage.

“He’s dangerous. He should never be out in the community again,” said chief prosecutor Michael Soong, who said that crystal methamphetamine abuse was to blame for Giddens’ criminal actions.

Giddens’ defense hinged on whether he was found to be in control of his actions at the time of the shootings, despite mental problems and abuse of crystal meth for more than a decade. Three out of five psychiatrists said that he was in control, backed up by police evidence and reports.

He shot at a moving pickup truck with a shotgun at Hanama’ulu Beach Park and hit Nelson Cuba in the face.

Fernandes, 42, a janitor at Wilcox Elementary School, was Giddens’ next-door neighbor. He was sitting in his garage the morning of Sept. 18, when Giddens, returning home from the beach park, shot and killed him. Giddens later claimed that Fernandes was spying on him. He also shot at and damaged random vehicles in the neighborhood.

After 20 years, Giddens may appeal the governor of the State of Hawai’i to change his sentence to life with the possibility of parole. Otherwise, he is set to spend the rest of his days at the Halawa Correctional Center on O’ahu.

Staff Writer Kendyce Manguchei can be reached at kmanguchei@pulitzer.net or 245-3681 (ext. 252).

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