Tourist charged with murder of attorney appears before Maui... - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Tourist charged with murder of attorney appears before Maui judge

Gerald Galaway, Jr.  (Source: MauiNow.com) Gerald Galaway, Jr. (Source: MauiNow.com)
Source: MauiNow.com Source: MauiNow.com
John D. Kim John D. Kim
Celestial Cassman Celestial Cassman
(left to right) Galaway with William Sloper (left to right) Galaway with William Sloper

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

WAILUKU, MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - The man accused of killing a city attorney from California nearly two weeks ago appeared before a Maui judge Tuesday morning.

Gerald Galaway, Jr. pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, first-degree attempted sexual assault, and kidnapping. He's being held without bail pending trial in December.

Maui county prosecutors consider Galaway a danger to the community and a flight risk. At this point, the defense is not fighting the no-bail status.

Galaway wore a hospital-issued body brace and slowly took his seat until his criminal case was called. The 38-year-old was hurt when he jumped off a 100-foot cliff near Nakalele Point on Maui as police approached him earlier this month.

"Our case was called. He stood up pretty slowly, gingerly as if he was suffering some pain," John D. Kim, Maui county prosecutor, said.

Galaway is accused of killing Celestial Cassman, 35, a deputy city attorney in Santa Cruz. The two were on vacation.

Witnesses reported seeing the pair in a struggle. Cassman's body was later found at the bottom of the cliff. An autopsy revealed that she died from asphyxiation.

"He was released from the hospital then arrested on a bench warrant from a grand jury indictment," Kim said. "He's being held without bail."

"We waive an oral reading and ask the court to enter not guilty pleas and set the matter for trial," William Sloper, defense attorney, said in court.

"You must appear before this court on December 5, 2011 at 8:30 AM for trial by jury," Joseph Cardoza, Circuit Court judge, said. "Do you understand all of that?"

"Yes," the defendant replied.

Coverage of the case has stretched to California.

"We have to make sure or be very careful about not having any overt pre-trial publicity where we would taint the jury," Kim said. "So our ethics and our rules prohibit us from commenting on the case."

Sloper would only say that his client is presumed innocent.

Related Headline:

Suspect arrested in Maui Murder case

Calif. attorney died on Maui of asphyxiation

Prosecutors call Maui murder case 'heinous, atrocious, cruel'

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