WAILUKU Saying a defendant was a flight risk and a danger to the community, 2nd Circuit Judge Joseph Cardoza kept bail at $500,000 for a man charged with kidnapping, terrorizing and abusing his girlfriend.
Francis Ramirez, 27, was being held at the Maui Community Correctional Center.
He was ordered to have no contact with the victim, who sought treatment at the Maui Memorial Medical Center emergency room in the early-morning hours of March 15.
Police said she was punched by Ramirez after an argument in their apartment at Harbor Lights Condominium, suffering injuries to her eye and face and losing consciousness.
When she awoke and tried to leave the apartment, Ramirez stopped her by blocking the door while brandishing a knife and ordering her into a bedroom, police said. Ramirez reportedly held the woman at knifepoint while threatening to kill her.
He forced her to drive him to Kahului Airport, keeping her from leaving the vehicle and continuing to threaten to kill her while brandishing a knife, police said.
Ramirez took a flight to Oahu, where he was arrested at the airport before being brought back to Maui, police said.
In court Thursday, Deputy Public Defender Adriel Menor asked for reduced bail for Ramirez, a combat veteran who served in the Marine Corps.
But First Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Robert Rivera said bail should remain at the $500,000 amount requested when Ramirez was indicted last week by a Maui County grand jury.
The risk that Ramirez would flee is one reason the bail amount was set, Rivera said. He said Ramirez was estranged from his wife on Oahu and his only tie to Maui was the victim, who had been seeing Ramirez for the past eight months.
"The more important reason for high bail is that the defendant poses an imminent threat to the safety of the victim," Rivera said.
Ramirez threatened to kill the woman's family if she reported what he did, Rivera said. "She took that very seriously," he said.
Rivera said there was a history of violence between Ramirez and the woman, although last week was the first time it was reported and resulted in Ramirez being in court.
When the victim testified at the grand jury proceeding three days later, her left eye was black and blue and still swollen, Rivera said.
A June 13 trial is scheduled for Ramirez, who has pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping, first-degree terroristic threatening and abuse.
* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at email@example.com.