Big Island man pleads no contest to manslaughter in wife's 2008 death

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HILO, Hawaii — A Big Island man pleaded no contest to a manslaughter charge in connection with the 2008 death of his wife.

Prosecutors reduced the charge of second-degree murder to manslaughter in exchange for the plea entered Wednesday by Alexander Malani Gambsky of Puna, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald (http://is.gd/Rh8BE6) reported. Gambsky, 46, faces a mandatory 20-year prison term at his March 4 sentencing.

In August 2013, Gambsky pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder after he was indicted in the death of Dawn Mancilla Gambsky, 34.

Friends reported the woman missing in July 2008. Her skeletal remains were found the following month in a shallow grave in the backyard of the home the couple shared in Orchidland.

The case went unsolved for five years. The victim's husband was indicted after witnesses were re-interviewed.

According to court records, police questioned Alexander Gambsky before the remains were found and administered a polygraph examination. Police said Gambsky was being deceptive about the location and condition of his wife.

Gambsky reportedly told police in July 2008 that his wife left him and he didn't know how to contact her or where she was living. Gambsky was living with another woman in the Orchidland home, according to authorities.

Gambsky's then-girlfriend told authorities in August 2008 that Gambsky told her his wife hung herself in the carport earlier that year and he found her body suspended by a rope, according to court documents. Gambsky told the woman he buried the body and didn't report the suicide because he was afraid of being wrongfully prosecuted for murder, authorities said.

Gambsky likely will receive credit for the time he's already served. He has been in custody since his arrest shortly after being indicted.

Defense attorney Brian De Lima said after Wednesday's hearing that the plea was based on "extreme mental or emotional disturbance."

County Prosecutor Mitch Roth said there are many reasons for the plea deal.

"One of the reasons is, there's no appeals," Roth said after the hearing. "We're able to make sure we got a 20-year term on this."


Information from: Hawaii Tribune-Herald, http://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/

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