No contest plea in 2006 murder case

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No contest plea in 2006 murder case

LĪHU‘E – Darren Galas, 46, of ‘Ele‘ele, entered a plea Monday morning of No Contest to a charge of Assault in the First Degree, a class B felony, regarding the 2006 death of Sandra Galas.

Fifth Circuit Court Judge Kathleen N.A. Watanabe accepted Galas’s plea and found him guilty.

The body of Sandra Galas was found in her garage in ‘Ele‘ele on January 25, 2006. In late October 2012, following an exhaustive police investigation, Galas was arrested and charged with the murder.

Galas will be sentenced on May 30 at 9 a.m. He faces up to ten years in prison.

“We hope that this will be the beginning of the end of a painful chapter for Sandra’s family, friends, supporters and ‘ohana,” stated Prosecuting Attorney Justin F. Kollar. “We thank the following individuals who helped bring this case along over the years: Deputy Prosecutors Kevin K. Takata, Jennifer Winn, Tim Tate and John Murphy, Investigators Joe Adric and John Burgess, Assistant Chief Bryson Ponce, Kaua‘i Police Chief Darryl Perry, and the entire Kaua‘i Police Department, as well as the YWCA of Kaua‘i and former Prosecuting Attorney Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho. We especially acknowledge the loss suffered by Sandra’s family and thank Lawrence Mendonca for his unwavering and tireless pursuit of justice for Sandy G.”

“Today’s verdict does not reverse the untimely death of Sandra Galas, but we hope it does bring a small sense of closure to her family and loved ones that Darren Galas has taken responsibility for her death. On behalf of the Kaua‘i Police Department, I would like to express my gratitude to Mr. and Mrs. Mendonca, the Attorney General’s Office, the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, KPD detectives, our community and the many dedicated individuals who refused to give up on finding justice for Sandy.” –Kaua‘i Police Chief Darryl Perry
“This case has weighed heavily on our community for over a decade and we will never forget Sandy. Our hearts and prayers continue to be with her ‘ohana following today’s verdict.” –Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr.