Bail increased for former manager at Waimanalo puppy mill - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Bail increased for former manager at Waimanalo puppy mill

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A judge increased the bail for a man accused of 153 counts of animal cruelty. David Becker is back in Hawaii to face the charges after being extradited from Las Vegas. He was the manager at a Waimanalo puppy mill that is no longer in business. The Hawaiian Humane Society rescued the animals in February 2011, but prosecutors said Becker left before he could be served with the criminal complaint. The judge agreed to raise Becker's bail from $100,000 to $200,000.

Based on a tip, authorities recently tracked him down in Las Vegas and used a special governor's warrant to arrest him. The Humane Society said Becker was responsible for the filthy conditions at the breeding facility that was operated by the now defunct Bradley International Incorporated. The corporation dissolved after it was unable to pay thousands of dollars in fines for similar cruelty charges.

In court on Monday, Becker told the judge that he is not a flight risk, and that a local law firm he hired knew where he was the whole time.

"When I went in to them and told them that my godmother needed me to come to Las Vegas and they said, ok, I could go there. I got emails. I was in touch with them. They said that if the prosecution wanted me, they knew they were defending me," said Becker.

"He knew he was wanted back here and did not come back from Las Vegas to face the charges. We are very concerned that he is a huge flight risk at this point in time," said deputy prosecutor Jan Futa.

Hawaii News Now contacted the law firm that Becker said he has a contract with, but did not receive a response to confirm his claim. If convicted, Becker faces potential fines of $306,000 and a year in prison for each count with concurrent sentencing. He is due back in court on Thursday.

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