Man Charged in Bicyclist’s Death Released From Jail
A paperwork snafu today resulted in a drastic reduction of bail for a man accused of killing a bicyclist on Highway 11 near Kea`au Friday – and ultimately his release from jail.
Siaiku Aholelei, 27, of Mountain View made his initial appearance today before District Judge Barbara Takase after being charged Sunday with first-degree negligent homicide and first-degree manslaughter.
Aholelei, who made his appearance in shackles and a hospital gown, initially had his bail set at $275,000, including $250,000 for the manslaughter charge, which is a class A felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
But during the proceedings, it was determined that while Deputy Prosecutor Roland Talon provided Takase with a Riverside affidavit – a document showing probable cause for an arrest filed with the court by police – for the negligent homicide charge, a second affidavit for the manslaughter charge was missing.
Talon told Takase that Aholelei had a lengthy criminal record including an assault conviction that resulted in a five-year prison sentence in 2008, five convictions for contempt of court and another for failure to appear.
However, Takase said without the affidavit, she could only set bail in the amount of $25,000 on the negligent homicide charge, which is a class B felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Aholelei, who was being held at Hawaii Community Correctional Center, late this afternoon posted a $25,000 bond and was released from custody.
Prosecutor Mitch Roth told Big Island Now that it was unclear what happened to the second affidavit, which has since has been located. He said another hearing for Aholelei has been scheduled for 2 p.m. Tuesday in District Court.
“Hopefully we’ll be able to correct the mistake that happened today,” Roth said.
He said despite the lowered bail amount and his release, Aholelei still remains charged with both offenses.
Roth said if Aholelei fails to show up for Tuesday’s hearing, he will also face the charge of first-degree bail-jumping, a class C felony carrying a sentence of up to five years in prison.
According to the affidavit on file at the courthouse, Aholelei was attempting to pass several cars at a high rate of speed when his southbound 2004 Dodge Ram truck went out of control, crossed the grassy median and the two northbound lanes and then struck the 66-year-old bicyclist riding on the shoulder.
The victim, Cenon Tranquilino Visaya of Kea‘au, was dead at the scene.