Man convicted of DUI both before, after fatal crash

WAILUKU – A Kahului man was speeding and had a blood-alcohol level more than twice the legal limit last year when he drove a vehicle that hit two University of Hawaii Maui College students, killing one of them, a deputy prosecutor said.

Walter Mark, 29, was convicted of operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant five months before the crash as well as eight months afterward, said Deputy Prosecutor Mark Simonds.

During a bail hearing Wednesday, Simonds asked that Mark’s bail remain at $750,000.

“The state’s position is this defendant presents a severe and extreme danger to the community,” Simonds said.

Mark has pleaded not guilty to charges of manslaughter, drunken driving, driving while his license was suspended or revoked and first-degree negligent injury.

The fatal crash occurred shortly before 7 p.m. Oct. 28 on Vevau Street in Kahului as the students were walking on the dirt shoulder of the road, police said.

Simonds said Mark had been drinking with a friend before he sped down Vevau Street, striking the two students who were walking home from the nearby Foodland store. A 19-year-old California woman was seriously injured and 21-year-old Devon King of Auburn, Wash., was killed, police said.

Simonds said Mark’s blood-alcohol level was measured at 0.217 percent, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

Mark was convicted of drunken driving on July 10, 2012, and on June 3, when he was stopped on Lono Avenue in Kahului, Simonds said.

Deputy Public Defender Jared Brickey asked the court to consider reducing bail for Mark, who was assisted in court by a Pohnpeian interpreter.

Second Circuit Judge Rhonda Loo kept Mark’s bail at $750,000. She ordered Mark not to consume alcohol or illegal drugs and to report for supervision and random testing if he posts bail.

He also was ordered not to drive any motor vehicle.

Mark is being held at the Maui Community Correctional Center.