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Bail reduction denied for tourist charged in Keehi Lagoon death

By Gregg Kakesako

LAST UPDATED: 01:01 a.m. HST, Aug 15, 2012

The 20-year-old Australian tourist accused of negligent homicide in the Keehi Lagoon watercraft crash that killed a California teen remains in custody Tuesday after a judge denied his request for a reduction in bail.

At a court appearance Tuesday morning, Tyson Dagley's attorney asked for a trial by jury. District Court Judge Leslie Hayashi scheduled an Aug. 23 hearing in Circuit Court when Dagley's case will be assigned to a judge. During the proceeding, Dagley broke down crying and hid his face behind his hands.

Dagley is accused of causing the death of Kristen Fonseca of Vacaville, Calif, by negligently operating his rented personal watercraft. Third-degree negligent homicide is a misdemeanor that carries a maximum prison term of one year and up to a $1,000 fine. He was charged under a state law that was changed earlier this year to include watercraft as a vehicle.   

Hayashi rejected attorney Walter Rodby’s request to lower Dagley’s $100,000 bail to $2,000 or to release him on his own recognizance. 

During the discussion about the bail reduction, the judge asked if Dagley had anything to say. "I am not going anywhere. I am going to stay here as long as you need me," he said.

But the judge cited the circumstances of the case and said the defense can renew their bail-reduction request with the Circuit Court judge on Aug. 23.

Investigators say that on Aug. 5 Dagley was standing on his rented watercraft before it collided with Fonseca's watercraft. Police said Dagley, a carpet layer from Brisbane, was showing off for his girlfriend, Natasha Ryan, and not paying attention when his rented Yamaha Waverunner smashed into the back of Fonseca's Yamaha on an Aloha Jet Ski Rentals course in Keehi Lagoon. Fonseca died the following day from head injuries.

Ryan, 21, was arrested and charged Friday with hindering prosecution for allegedly deleting a video showing the crash and the moments before the crash. She is free on $500 bail.

Ryan, also from Brisbane, is expected to enter a plea at her arraignment in District Court on Sept. 7. There were no restrictions on her bail and she retained her Australian passport. Hindering prosecution is also a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison.

Late yesterday, Honolulu attorney Rick Fried filed a civil suit against Dagley and rental firm Aloha Jet Ski on behalf of Fonseca's family.

The suit alleges Dagley operated his personal watercraft negligently and recklessly and Aloha Jet Ski employees did nothing to stop him.

Fonseca family's lawsuit

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patk wrote:
This is such a sad story. He was just having fun and had a moment of careless behavior, same as EVERY GUY has done at one time or another, especially at that age. And now the attorneys are jumping in and everything is just going to get ugly.
on August 14,2012 | 12:14PM
false wrote:
True, but "every guy" has not caused a senseless death. Try to place your feelings on the parents of the girl killed.
on August 14,2012 | 01:08PM
kainalu wrote:
I've already considered it. I feel nothing but sorry for this other kid. A tragic event for both families. One will has paid the ultimate price, the other multiple lives ruined forever. I bet both wish they never came to Hawaii, more so, never went jet skiing that morning.
on August 14,2012 | 01:25PM
EducatedLocalBoy wrote:
There is a difference between civil liability and criminal liability. Think of it being the same as a car accident. Usually in a car accident, the person who causes serious injury, perhaps even causing a person to be paralyzed, is not charged with a crime. Usually there has to be something such as operating the vehicle while drunk before criminal charges are brought. Here there was high speed, but there are no speed limits, so it may not be reasonable to charge the kid with a crime. this is not to say the kid is blameless. But this should be a civil matter. However, since the step father was with FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT, the police and prosecutor made it a criminal offense. Law enforcement take care of their own. Look at the Federal Officer who shot the kid in Waikiki, if he wasn't Law Enforcement, he would never been let out of jail and go out of state without a multi-million bail bond, which would have effectively been a denial of bail because he couldn't raise that kind of money.
on August 14,2012 | 06:25PM
bobbob wrote:
True. But thankfully the judge has some brains and denied the bail request. $2000, what a joke. I'd bet the $100,000 that the kid would skip out on bail and never return to hawaii.
on August 14,2012 | 04:15PM
joewilly wrote:
What happen to the white powder they found in Colt Brennan's car? What's fair is fair. They should put this poor soul under house arrest.
on August 14,2012 | 05:33PM
mellowyellow11 wrote:
sad day for the court system here This is clearly a civil matter and not criminal. they are just traumatizing this young boy in prison. Are you telling us that those who allowed this type of event and designed this course, that permitted a water craft going 40mph to be operated in a manner that with just one moment of lapse in attention could result in a death, bear no responsibility? the operators should be prosecuted. not a teenage boy.
on August 14,2012 | 09:18PM
patk wrote:
Not that I excuse what happened, he has to pay for his actions but it is just so sad that it happened at all for both him and the victim.
on August 14,2012 | 12:15PM
allie wrote:
Amazing that most murderers in this town are treated more gently than this tourist.
on August 14,2012 | 03:54PM
luvshawaii wrote:
I have to agree with you on this one. Many drunks/druggies out on the roads killing the innocent, but they appear to get off pretty lightly compared to this boy.
on August 14,2012 | 06:45PM
Cubsfan wrote:
This kid is a flight risk. That is the reason his bail is so high. Being a college student I would think you could figure that one out. You sure dislike Hawaii. Why did you go there in the first place? Not used to being the treatment, huh?
on August 14,2012 | 07:43PM
Graham wrote:
Question: Why did the drunk driver who killed a young man this weekend get $50,000.00 bail and this young man get $100,000.00?
on August 14,2012 | 01:13PM
all_fed_up wrote:
Exactly! I just don't understand our legal system.
on August 14,2012 | 01:19PM
kainalu wrote:
There is no reasonable answer.
on August 14,2012 | 01:19PM
GeoDiva wrote:
Because Australia has no extradition policy with the US for misdemeanor crimes, which this is. Out on bail, he can go back home and as long as he never comes back to the US, we can't touch him.
on August 14,2012 | 01:27PM
Graham wrote:
He can't leave...the court has his passport.
on August 14,2012 | 01:45PM
GeoDiva wrote:
He doesn't need an passport to fly to the mainland to visit the Australian embassy and be issued a new passport. He can then leave from that city back to Australia. I'm surprised we haven't heard anything about the Australian goverment/embassy staff being involved in his case or at least visiting him.
on August 14,2012 | 04:12PM
kainalu wrote:
And we want to "touch him" why? The victim's family has already filed civil suit. There's no "justice" in what the criminal court is doing, this is already in the hands of a civil court.
on August 14,2012 | 01:59PM
GooglyMoogly wrote:
the conditions for a verdict are much more stringent for a criminal case than a civil. the two are exclusive of one another, and therefore can go on at the same time. the tour operator is also named in the civil suit. there is no doubt, he caused this poor little girl's death. whether he meant to or not is irrelevant at this point. it may be harder to argue that the tour operator is also liable, but all rick fried needs to do is show that dagley's actions led to fonseca's death.
on August 14,2012 | 02:55PM
Denominator wrote:
Fried is just going after insurance money. He knows the operator has insurance so this is a guaranteed payday for him.
on August 14,2012 | 03:14PM
Dragonman wrote:
The criminal case is very important because if Dagley is found guility he is much more likely to found guilty in civil case. Given the situation of Dagley's girffriend trying to destroy evidence and lying to police I don't blame judge for not lowering bail. It really is a sad situation and I really feel sorrow for all those involved but a life was lost as a consequence of Dagley's actions and he must be held accountable.
on August 14,2012 | 03:25PM
EducatedLocalBoy wrote:
Dragonman, if there is a criminal conviction, under the doctrine of collateral estoppel he will be found liable, not just much more likely to be what you call found "guilty" in the civil case. The destruction of evidence is not a valid reason for keeping bail high and was probably not considered. Risk that the defendant would flee the jurisdiction and not return for the trial is a consideration for bail, and was probably considered.
on August 14,2012 | 06:44PM
tiki886 wrote:
Well "educatedlocalboy" I guess you're wrong because the judge already ruled.
on August 14,2012 | 10:24PM
EducatedLocalBoy wrote:
to tiki886, the judge did not rule contrary to what I said so I am not wrong. The destruction of evidence/hindering prosecution charge are against the girlfriend. Her bail is only $500 and her passport has not been seized because as I said earlier, destruction of evidence has nothing to do with bail, and she is not a flight risk because she isn't likely to leave for such a manini charge.
on August 14,2012 | 11:44PM
EducatedLocalBoy wrote:
GooglyMoogly, I believe that you have missed kainalu's point which is the same as my point which is mentioned above. Oftentimes, in accident cases (i.e. there being no specific intent to kill the girl), only civil liability attaches, there is no criminal prosecution. The textbook difference between civil and criminal liability is the intent (mens rea in latin) to commit a crime, in this case the death of another person. In this case there was no intent to kill the girl. However, there is a new class of crime where there can be criminal liability even where there is no intent to engage in a crime. I believe that it was wrongfully applied in this case because the step father was a federal law enforcement officer and the law enforcement community gives special favoritism to their own.
on August 14,2012 | 06:35PM
Cubsfan wrote:
negligent homicide is a crime. You guys act like this kid did nothing wrong. Doesn't he llook so sorry in court? Bet he didn't look that way showing off?
on August 14,2012 | 07:51PM
tiki886 wrote:
Your opinion means nothing because the judge already ruled. Go back to law school. Maybe get a refund of your tuition.
on August 14,2012 | 10:26PM
EducatedLocalBoy wrote:
Tiki886 it seems that you have a chip on your shoulder about educated people, especially lawyers. I wonder if you have the same attitude about the judge in this case who unlike most district court judges is a very smart lawyer. Your comment that I'm wrong because the judge already ruled doesn't make any sense because the judge ruled consistently with what I wrote. Too bad you have such an inferiority complex about smart people, it probably hinders your life.
on August 14,2012 | 11:49PM
Denominator wrote:
That would be true for the drunk out on $50K bail too. So what's your point?
on August 14,2012 | 03:13PM
allie wrote:
on August 14,2012 | 03:54PM
kuewa wrote:
Jet skis should be banned altogether. They have caused horrific accidents over the years and are a dangerous nuisance for other people in the areas where they are operated.
on August 14,2012 | 03:12PM
Manapua_Man wrote:
Agreed. Hawaiian waters can be enjoyed without jet skiing. Who came up with this dumb idea anyway? That sounds more like an activity to do on the mainland than in Hawaii.
on August 14,2012 | 03:20PM
tiki886 wrote:
It's an indispensable tool in saving life. Just ask any lifeguard.
on August 14,2012 | 10:31PM
Dragonman wrote:
I agree somewhat with what you said, but if you band jet skis than we should ban off road motor bikes, muscle cars, and all high performance motorcycles and lets not forget cars in general. Banning machines is not the answer, the operators of these vehicles have to realize that they will be held accountable if they are deemed responsible for crashes/accidents. What happened to Dagley could happen to anyone of us, lets all learn from this horrible incident and strive to be more attentative when ever we are involved in operating power vechicles.
on August 14,2012 | 03:35PM
kuewa wrote:
Those are different situations. Jet skis operate in the midst of surfers, swimmers, divers, fishermen, etc. who have no way to escape from these fast moving, lethal machines and, when accidents occur, are hit with virtually no warning It would be similar to allowing land-based recreational vehicles to run wild through playgrounds, parks and sidewalks.
on August 14,2012 | 04:33PM
aomohoa wrote:
More tourist and locals have been killed riding those little mob heads that don't even require a license.
on August 14,2012 | 06:07PM
EducatedLocalBoy wrote:
Perhaps a reasonable alternative is to put a governor on the jet ski that limits its speed to 10 knots an hour, with a $100,000. fine on anyone who owns or operates a jet ski where the speed governor has been removed.
on August 14,2012 | 06:48PM
luvshawaii wrote:
No one seems to have learned that driving drunk/drugged can kill. People continue to drive impaired. I don't think this kid intended to hurt anyone, whereas, we all know not to drive drunk but do it anyway. Who is more wrong? The kid or the drunk?
on August 14,2012 | 06:52PM
Cubsfan wrote:
If someone is texting and driving and kills someone, would you feel sorry for that person? hmm
on August 14,2012 | 07:54PM
Anonymous wrote:
Typical of how screwed up our Judges are. If this guy had prior arrests and committed an armed robbery or murder, the Judge would've give a bail reduction. If I'm not mistaken this guy has a clean record and can't get a bail reduction...our Judges at work !!!!!
on August 14,2012 | 03:40PM
tsboy wrote:
denying this kid bail is ridiculous. yes, a young girl was killed because he was not paying attention. he wasn't drunk, he wasn't high on drugs, at least that we know of, he was just careless. its a terrible thing to lose a daughter, especially one so young and full of life. but it was an accident, tragic, but still an accident. i have read where guys have TRIED to kill others and drunk drivers who have killed others, are released pending further investigation. what?? you can tell that this kid is really sorry about what happened. what ever happens in court, he will have to live with. but denying him bail? c'mon. i feel bad for both families.
on August 14,2012 | 03:40PM
allie wrote:
on August 14,2012 | 03:55PM
Accident happens in daily life and most prominent when there are many people with vehicles capable of exerting speed. However, its a sad case involving two individuals just having a good time, that turn into a nightmare for both.
on August 14,2012 | 04:06PM
stanislous wrote:
Why did the girl stop in the middle of the course instead of pulling off to the side... isn't that like stopping in the middle of the freeway? Who among us hasn't looked away fro a second, or waved at someone?
on August 14,2012 | 04:14PM
Cubsfan wrote:
Too bad she isn't from the UK?
on August 14,2012 | 07:55PM
syhud wrote:
Thought you were on top of the world eh, hot dogging on that jet ski. Look at you now Punk!
on August 14,2012 | 07:58PM
Cubsfan wrote:
Absolutely agree!!! From a hot dog to a cry baby!
on August 14,2012 | 08:17PM
Cubsfan wrote:
I really hope his life goes downhill. He killed an innocent young lady. Oh. he's a carpet layer so how bad can it get? lol
on August 14,2012 | 07:59PM
lynnh wrote:
You are a sad excuse for a human! Have you no heart? t was an accident. A terrible accident yes, but an accident none the less. Can you honestly say you have never looked away for a moment and not almost rear-ended someone or drove off the road? Or maybe you might have caused an accident? Do not say no! Plus, I can say without a doubt that he was not the only only standing up or speeding around, or posing for a picture out there. I have seen that operation and other at work. Also, almost everyone that goes to one of those operations have never been on or had formal training to operate that type of vehicle. So why are they not required to rent out watercraft that have speed restrictors on them. Why are the riders not required to wear head protection? She died from head injuries which, with the proper safety equipment, could have been avoided.
on August 15,2012 | 12:43AM
mongoosa wrote:
This is ridiculous with all of the media coverage as if this was some sort of premeditated murder. People are attacked and nearly killed in this state daily, yet the focus seems to be on an obvious accident involving young tourists. You can see the remorse and pain and fear in their young faces. Yes, unfortunately this happened in the water where there are suddenly new laws. And of course Rick Fried steps in with his greedy hands to handle the lawsuit. Does anyone wonder why this ambulance chaser happens to get the cases that pay out the most money? Inside info perhaps from the ME's office? Paybacks? Sadly someone died, yet the intent was not there and the attorneys and media are giving this far too much attention to make this seem extremely egregious when it was nothing more than a mere ACCIDENT. If a shark had killed her, Fried would probably blame and sue DLNR for not netting off the ocean. This poor boy and his gf are going to have to forever live with this nightmare. Why turn it more tragic than it already is. Hawaii will alienate the Australians and rightfully so. Testing out their new laws on a country who has boosted the economy many times over. Pay attention to the murderers and assault perpetrators....... these are the real criminals and obviously the ones the prosecutors have a hard time catching.....this was an easy catch and they are trying to make like it is a big thing. What is the threat to Hawaii citizens when the REAL criminals are still running rampant and Kaneshiro does nothing? Condolences to the family who lost their child. But please think about the other two children who will forever be destroyed.
on August 14,2012 | 08:41PM
W_Williams wrote:
It was an accident. Another kid, full of youthful bravado. He didn't intend to hurt anyone.
on August 14,2012 | 10:47PM
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