McCrory gets life sentence for 2001 murder

William McCrory, 49, who is originally from California, was sentenced yesterday to life in prison with the possibility of parole by Judge Kathleen N.A. Watanabe for murder in the second degree, county prosecutors said in a press release.

McCrory, who has remained in custody since police arrested him in October 2001, was found guilty of intentionally or knowingly causing the death of Brent “Kirby” Kerr on October 26, 2001, according to prosecutors.

This is the second time McCrory was sentenced to life in prison for this offense.

He was first found guilty after a jury trial in July 2002, and sentenced to life in September of that year.

Members of the parole board then set McCrory’s minimum term at 45 years. In 2004, justices of the Supreme Court of Hawai’i reversed the conviction based on what it found to be irrelevant and unfairly prejudicial testimony of one witness, according to prosecutors.

The new trial began with jury selection on March 20, with Prosecuting Attorney Craig De Costa and Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Ken Norelli representing the state.

Thirteen witnesses testified on behalf of the state to various facts.

Both prosecutors and the defendant agreed to the results of DNA testing of blood found in McCrory’s vehicle. Testimony of one witness, Billy Pierce, who passed away after the first trial, was read to the jury.

McCrory’s attorney called four witnesses, and McCrory did not take the stand in his defense, prosecutors said.

Two of those witnesses saw a “glimpse” of two white men on the side of the road, which McCrory’s attorney Dan Hempey argued was inconsistent with Pierce’s prior testimony.

The witness whose testimony the Hawaii Supreme Court justices ruled irrelevant and prejudicial in the first trial was not called to testify in the new trial.

The jury returned a verdict of guilty as charged to murder in the second degree on March 29.

Members of the Hawaii Paroling Authority will set the minimum term McCrory must serve at a hearing which must be held within six months of yesterday’s sentencing, according to prosecutors.

Dane Oda of Kaua’i and Honolulu, who was recently elected to a seat on the board of directors of the Kaua’i Island Utility Cooperative, is one of three members of the Hawaii Paroling Authority.

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