Visitor charged with manslaughter after fatal Big Island beating

Visitor charged with manslaughter after fatal Big Island beating
A Pennsylvania visitor has been charged with manslaughter in connection with a beating death. (Source: Hawaii News Now)

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A visitor from Pennsylvania was charged with manslaughter in connection with a fatal beating appeared in court Wednesday.

Benjamin Fleming, a 37-year-old from Pittsburgh, Penn., was charged in the death of Abhishik Gupta.

Police said Fleming called 911 from a vacation rental on Walua Road early Monday, telling authorities his friend went unconscious after drinking alcohol. But when officers got to the Kona home, they determined it was actually a fight between roommates that turned deadly.

[Related: 911 dispatch call reveals more information about deadly incident at a Kona vacation rental]

Fleming and another man, 31-year-old Alexander Germany-Wald, of Boston, Mass., were both arrested on suspicion of manslaughter. Germany-Wald was initially considered the main suspect.

He was later released without any charges, police said.

In court, Germany-Wald testified that Gupta was kicked out of a bar for being too drunk, and later instigated a fist fight at their vacation rental.

“Mr. Fleming came to my aid and restrained Mr. Gupta from punching me further,” Germany-Wald said.

An autopsy revealed that Gupta died of strangulation.

If convicted, Fleming faces up to 20 years in prison.

This story will be updated.

Copyright 2021 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.