Clifton Kloulubak was sentenced to 25 in prison for the murder of Kenneth Koshiba after Palau Supreme Associate Justice Lourdes Materne accepted a guilty plea order on Sept 6. He was one of the men originally charged in the crime.
The death of Koshiba in October of last year rocked Palau as the first gun-related killing since 1988 suicide of president Lazarus Salii, who shot himself in the head with a pistol.
Koshiba was repeatedly shot with a gas-powered air rifle and pellets. The pellets lodged in his heart and spine, causing his death.
Koshiba’s body was found across the road from a gas station in Medalaiii in the early morning of Oct. 11, 2015.
Mr. Kloulubak, his brother Nick, and Michael Williams, were arrested and charged with second- degree murder days after the shooting.
Clifton through pleading guilty to manslaughter, received the maximum punishment of 25 years in prison; if a jury had found him guilty of murder he would have faced a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Justice Materne accepted the plea bargain but imposed the maximum fine of 25 years with credit of time served in jail, which was 14 days. He must serve at least one-third of the sentence before he is eligible for parole.
Clifton’s brother Nick was earlier sentenced to one-year probation for assault in the first degree after he pled guilty and cooperated with the prosecution of the other defendants.
Williams was sentenced in July to 10 years imprisonment for assault in the first degree, following a plea agreement, which suspended five years of the sentence.
Palau has strict penalties for gun possession except the military and police are allowed to have firearms and ammunition.
Air rifles, however, are used commonly in Palau for hunting small game.