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Appeals court upholds Kaloko Dam manslaughter case

By Ken Kobayashi

LAST UPDATED: 11:35 a.m. HST, Jun 23, 2011

The state appeals court upheld today the manslaughter charges against retired car dealer James Pflueger over the deaths of seven people killed after Kaloko Dam breach on Kauai five years ago.

In a unanimous 25-page decision, a three-judge panel of the Intermediate Court of Appeals affirmed Kauai Circuit Judge Randal Valenciano’s decision last year refusing to dismiss the case on double jeopardy grounds.

The criminal proceedings against Pflueger were suspended pending his appeal of the judge’s ruling.

The appeals court ruling clears the way for the trial against Pflueger, but his lawyers have the option of asking the Hawaii Supreme Court to review today’s decision.

Seven people died when hundreds of millions gallons of water surged from the Kaloko reservoir downstream to Kauai’s north shore on March 14, 2006.

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