Delayed trial for driver accused in fatal hit-and-run upsets victim's family

NANAKULI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - What should have been a day spent in a courtroom instead turned into an evening spent roadside in Nanakuli on Monday.

Friends and family of Kaulana Werner waved signs along Farrington Highway that read "Justice for Kaulana" and "Don't Drink and Drive."

"We just wanted to get this over with so we can lay him down to rest," said Ed Werner, Kaulana's father.

The woman behind the wheel, 23-year-old Myisha Lee Armitage, faces charges of first-degree negligent homicide and leaving the scene of a fatal crash.

She pleaded not guilty at her arraignment in April and was scheduled to face a judge on Monday September 18th, but her attorney requested the trial be continued.

The Werner family says the news is a disappointment.

"I just want justice for my son, he didn't deserve this," said Paula Werner, Kaulana's mother. "She's out free and he will never be able to come back and walk in the house and give me a hug."

It's unclear why the trial was delayed, but DUI attorney Pat McPherson, who's not directly involved in this particular case, states general reasons why.

"One, the state is not ready to proceed because a witness may be on vacation or unable to testify," McPherson said. "Two, defense is not ready to proceed because of some unforeseen circumstance or three, sometimes cases get continued because the defendant may be going into a rehabilitation program and they need to get through the program first before they go back to court."

Armitage remains free on $11,000 bail.

Loved ones hoped closure would come this week so they could finally scatter Werner's ashes into the ocean.

Now they'll have to wait at least another four months until a verdict is reached.

"The community and the family, we're never going to stop fighting," said Ed Werner.

"Sometime the wheels of justice move slowly for a reason and the reason is that it's better to get it right the first time than it is to have to do something more than one time," said McPherson.

A new trial date is set for January 22, 2018.

Copyright 2017 HawaiiNewsNow. All rights reserved.