Bail hearing delayed for suspect in shootings at isle country club

WAILUKU – With the public defender’s office seeking to withdraw from the case, a bail hearing was delayed until Tuesday for a homeless man accused of using a pellet rifle to shoot at golfers and police officers at the Maui Country Club.

Alan Engling, 59, has pleaded not guilty to 20 charges in connection with pellet rifle shootings reported April 17 and April 21 at the golf course in Spreckelsville.

He is being held in lieu of $110,000 bail at the Maui Community Correctional Center.

Engling was transported from the jail to 2nd Circuit Court for his bail hearing Thursday morning. But proceedings were delayed when Deputy Public Defender Wendy Hudson asked that the office be allowed to withdraw from representing Engling because of her friendship with Dr. John Mills, who was shot in his right thumb while golfing April 17.

Hudson said Mills is a “close personal friend” and it would be difficult for her to cross-examine Mills, as might be required to defend Engling.

Deputy Prosecutor Mark Simonds said another deputy public defender could be assigned to handle the case.

Second Circuit Judge Peter Cahill said he would take up Hudson’s request and Engling’s bail at a hearing Tuesday.

Engling has been ordered to stay at least 1,000 yards away from the Maui Country Club and the location where he was arrested April 21 when golfers converged on his campsite in nearby kiawe brush.

Seven golfers reported being shot at, including Paia resident Paul Peters, who was hit by a shot in his upper right arm.

Police said one officer responding to the 12:24 p.m. report was shot in the chest while wearing a bulletproof vest. Another officer was shot at before officers subdued Engling, police said.

Engling is charged with two counts of second-degree assault, six counts of attempted second-degree assault, nine counts of first-degree terroristic threatening, first-degree assault on a law enforcement officer, attempted first-degree assault on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest.

His trial was set for July 22.

Engling has been ordered to stay away from Mills, Peters and the other six golfers, as well as the two police officers.