The no-contest plea to manslaughter by defendant Gerald Galaway (The Maui News, June 8) leaves some questions, primarily why the murder charge was reduced.
The applicable section of Hawaii Revised Statutes states a person commits the offense of manslaughter if the person recklessly causes the death of another person.
Galaway and the victim came to Maui together, a witness saw him slam her to the ground, put her in a chokehold and drag her into the bush. Galaway fled when the police arrived. The autopsy proved she died of asphyxiation. Reckless is the conscious disregard of a known risk, choking someone to death is not reckless.
The defendant's attorney mentioned several procedural motions that might have been brought which could have, if successful, affected the possibility of a murder conviction.
No reasons were given why the prosecutor's office agreed to the plea agreement, as the deputy prosecutor had no comment when asked about it. The prosecutor's office has an obligation and should explain why. What were the factors that led it to reduce the charge from what read like a horrific murder?