Murderer sentenced to life without parole for strangling elderly womanUPDATED 8:19 PM HST Jun 18, 2014Video Transcript
spend life behind bars WITHOUT the possibility of parole for strangling an elderly woman. Gerald Austin was sentenced in the cold case which happened at a Honolulu senior housing complex 25 years ago. KITV 4s Cam Tran reports. 00-06 28-35 112-120 130-140 GERALD AUSTIN: FOUND GUILTY OF MURDER IN: 17:17 I DO FEEL FOR HIM AS WELL AS MISSES SKINNER SHE NEVER DESERVED ANY OF THIS TO HAPPEN TO HER 17:25 Gerald Austin uttered these words hoping it would mean lighter sentence. An Oahu jury convicted the 54 year old of second degree murder for strangling to death 81 Edith skinner in her Kalakaua Apartment in 1989. His 20 years of roaming free ended due to improvements in forensic technology. SCOTT BELL IN: 01:09 IT ALL BEGAN WITH A PERCEPTIVE MEDICAL EXAMINER WHO 25 YEARS AGO NOTICED THE HAIR WHICH LED HER TO LOOK FOR OTHER FORENSIC EVIDENCE 01:38 DECADES AFTER THE FACT MISTER AUSTIN WOULD HAVE TO GIVE A DNA SAMPLE BECAUSE HE'S A CONVICTED FELON AND IT JUST SO HAPPENED RUNNING A COMPUTER CHECK HIS DNA MATCHED THE DNA FOUND ON MISS SKINNER ALL OF THOSE YEARS AGO. 1:51 The mandatory sentence for second degree murder is life WITH the possibility of parole. But because he prayed on the elderly and was believed to be a threat to society, the prosecution recommended a sentence of life WITHOUT the possibility of parole. Prosecutor Scott Bell read an impact statement from the victim's son today who agrees with the stricter punishment. SCOTT BELL IN: 8:38 ALL OF THIS WAS RIPPED FORM HER BY THIS ANIMLA WHO DESERVES TO SUFFER THE REST OF HIS MISERABLE LIFE IN A CELL PEREFERABLY AWAY FROM HAWAII LIKE ARIZONA HE DOESN'T DESERVE TO BE APART OF ANYTHING IN HAWAII 8:50 However, Austin's defense attorney pushed for life WITH parole, denying his client even committed the crime. ED AQUINO, Austin's Defense Attorney 12:11 WE BELIEVE BEYOND THE DNA EVIDENCE THAT LINKS MISTER AUSTIN TO THE OFFENSE THERE'S ABSOLUTELY NO EVIDENCE TO PROVE OR SHOW THAT HE IS THE ONE WHO COMMITTED THE MURDER BECAUSE HE DID NOT COMMIT THE MURDER IN THIS CASE 12:24 But the judge didn't buy it. Judge Colette Gariabaldi sentenced Austin to life without parole and forced him to pay the family back for funeral expenses. Reporting from circuit court, Cam tran, kitv news.