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.
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.