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Australian pleads no contest to negligent homicide charge

By Gregg Kakesako

LAST UPDATED: 10:32 a.m. HST, Aug 23, 2012

The 20-year-old Australian carpet layer accused of causing the death of a 16-year-old California girl in a Keehi Lagoon crash pleaded no contest to a negligent homicide charge this morning in Circuit Court.

Tyson Dagley will be sentenced Sept. 5 at 9:30 a.m. by Circuit Judge Richard Perkins. He faces a maximum jail term of one year and $2,000 fine for third-degree negligent homicide. Dagley has been out on $100,000 cash bail since Monday.

Perkins also ordered Dagley to turn in his Australian passport to the court. Dagley told Perkins that he will comply and will be in Hawaii until his September court date.

Police said Dagley, who lives near Brisbane, Australia, wasn’t paying attention when his rented Yamaha Waverunner personal watercraft rammed the back of  Fonseca's Waverunner at Keehi Lagoon. Aug. 5. She later died of a brian injury.

Walter Rodby, Dagley’s attorney, asked Perkins to consider giving Dagley the option of a deferred acceptance of a guilty plea, which would mean that the misdemeanor conviction would be taken off his U.S. record if he stays out of trouble for a year.

Perkins also advised Dagley that by entering a “no contest” plea he was waiving the opportunity for a jury trial and since he is not an U.S. citizen he would not be allowed to re-enter the United States.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Scott Bell said he would confer with the parents of Kristen Fonseca before submitting his sentencing recommendation to Perkins.

Dagley told a Australian television station this week that he was "just a 20-year-old on a Jet Ski having fun" when the accident occurred.

"I'd give anything for her to be back," he told a Brisbane television station. "In the end, I'd rather it be me than her."

Fonseca’s parents last week filed a wrong death suit in Circuit Court against Dagley and Aloha Jet Ski which rented personal watercrafts to Fonseca, of Vacaville, Calif., and Dagley.

Investigators say Dagley was standing on his rented Waverunner before it hit Fonseca's watercraft from behind. They say he was looking at his girlfriend, who was taking video and photos, and didn't pay attention to where he was going.

His girlfriend, Natsha Ryan, 21, was arrested and charged with hindering prosecution for allegedly deleting a video showing the crash. She is free on $500 bail. Ryan is expected to enter a plea at her arraignment in District Court Sept. 7. There were no restrictions on her bail and she retained her Australian passport. Hindering prosecution is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison.

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loio wrote:
The 20 year old made a mistake which he'll have to live with for the rest of his life. My heart goes out to the family of the girl who died, but ruining this young man's life isn't going to bring her back. There'll be plenty enough civil damages, on top of the guilt he'll have to live with for the rest of his life. Having him go to prison won't solve anything.
on August 23,2012 | 07:46AM
kainalu wrote:
100% agreed. Both families lives are already damaged beyond repair. This young man's troubles are all ahead of him. And we as a society want to throw salt into his wound why?
on August 23,2012 | 08:12AM
808chubs wrote:
I totally agree with you, just looking at this young man that he is sorry. My heart goes out to the victim's family, but let us not create another victim.
on August 23,2012 | 09:03AM
KekoaBradshaw wrote:
"Just looking at this young man that he is sorry." All that means is that his lawyer told him to look sad in Court and that he's a good actor.
on August 23,2012 | 11:00AM
KekoaBradshaw wrote:
Because he's responsible for the death of a young girl. He's an adult man who should have known that on a powerful vehicle like a jet ski, you don't good around and mug for your girlfriend who's taking pictures and don't look where you're going. He hit the victim from behind. The poor victim didn't even know what hit her. He portrays himself as "just a 20 year old having fun". Yeah, right. He's an adult who's responsible for his actions. It would be the same thing in Australia if this crime had happened there.
on August 23,2012 | 10:58AM
waverider808 wrote:
must be nice to be so perfect and having never to have made a mistake in your entire life....to be so judgemental when you do not even know what this young man is going through, wow i hope you never make a mistake then have people dump on you.....
on August 23,2012 | 11:10AM
KekoaBradshaw wrote:
Like everyone else, I've made mistakes and I've had to pay the consequences. You're the judgemental one here---I'm just pointing out reality. If you make mistakes, include committing a crime, you man up and take responsibilioty for your actions.
on August 23,2012 | 12:00PM
kailua000 wrote:
He could have pled not guilty and had a long drawn out court case. Better this way.
on August 23,2012 | 12:14PM
allie wrote:
true..it was negligence. No question.
on August 23,2012 | 03:58PM
pakeheat wrote:
Accidental vs Intentional are two different things, intentional is criminal, would you say?
on August 23,2012 | 12:19PM
st1d wrote:

it's negligence vs intentional. both are criminal. even the police no longer uses the term "accident" in their investigation forms preferring "collisions" acknowledging that the incident was avoidable.

it could be any one of us, too. it only takes a couple of seconds of inattention to enter a world of hurt and anguish.>/p>

condolences to the fonseca family. hope tyson dagley can help people learn from his mistake.

natasha ryan: not much to hope for there.

on August 23,2012 | 03:00PM
pakeheat wrote:
st1d, is accidental a crime? Your post below states, "negligence".
on August 23,2012 | 04:50PM
st1d wrote:
accidental may not be a crime. should have posted negligence/intentional are criminal. thanks.
on August 23,2012 | 05:21PM
beachbum11 wrote:
Our elected official commit crimes against the taxpayers everyday but they never go to jail. Same smell. They hurt and kill people with there laws and still have a job
on August 23,2012 | 01:31PM
WKAMA wrote:
The guy admitted he made a mistake and he manned-up and took responsibility for his mistake Now what more do you want from him?
on August 23,2012 | 02:45PM
allie wrote:
True and murderers are routinely let go out here
on August 23,2012 | 03:59PM
boomshanker wrote:
If I was doing wheelies on my moped up and down the street, not paying any attention, and took out your child or grandchild, would you still be so forgiving?
on August 23,2012 | 03:49PM
kainalu wrote:
He's an adult man ... smh ... okay, "pops".
on August 23,2012 | 12:31PM
KekoaBradshaw wrote:
"Both families lives are already damaged beyond repair." Hmmm. The Dagleys are going back tio Australia, and if he goes to jail (not likely), their son will be home with them in a year. He'll probably marry his girlfriend, who tried to cover up his crime by deleted the videos and pics she told of him acting irresonsibly and colliding with the jetski of the victim, killing her. They'll go on with their lives and be happy. The victim's parents go home without their 16 year old daughter, who will never marry and have children. I bet the victim's family would LOVE to be in the position of the Dagley family.
on August 23,2012 | 11:17AM
kainalu wrote:
Throwing boulders from inside your glass house.
on August 23,2012 | 12:32PM
hawaiianstyle wrote:
I don't think anyone would "love" to be in anyones position period. So easy for you to pass judgement but put yourself in his position, or better yet, if you have a child put them in his position. It was an accident and nothing that you do to this kid will change what happened or bring the girl back. He didn't do it maliciously or on purpose. Accidents happen, that's why they're called accidents. While I cannot imagine dealing with losing a child, I also cannot imagine living your life knowing you killed someone. Unless you have no conscience whatsoever, that could be worse in the long run.
on August 23,2012 | 12:55PM
bumba wrote:
Kekoa, chill out. This is just a message board, lol.
on August 23,2012 | 02:33PM
peepee wrote:
I wonder if he might enter a guilty plea? One other thing to consider is that serving a short time might actually help him to resolve some of the guilt he clearly feels. It seems hopeful from his responses so far that he is a good man, and stands a decent chance of growing from this experience, rather than letting it cripple him for life with guilt and regret. When someone makes a mistake, sometimes it can be better to let them experience the consequences than to try and shield him/her from them. (Legal consequences included). I personally am optimistic that justice will be tempered with mercy as well, because a judge will weigh these things off and likely try his/her best to do what's best for the family, community, and this young man and his family if / when sentencing.
on August 23,2012 | 08:58AM
KekoaBradshaw wrote:
If he "clearly feels the guilt", he should have pleaded guilty and thrown himself on the mercy of the Court. That would count for a lot more with many people, including me, than all of this "poor me, I'm only a 20 year old kid, I was just having fun, I wish it was me instead of her (Yeah, what an insult to the victim and her family)." His girl friend knew he was acting irresponsibly---that's why she deleted the videos and pics she was taking of him showing off for her, and that's why she's facing a charge of hindering prosecution.
on August 23,2012 | 11:06AM
Hapa_Haole_Boy wrote:
The guy committed a crime, so he must do the time. Yes he's very sorry; and that's to his credit-- it'll likely reduce/minimize his sentencing. But that doesn't justify removing his entire sentence. Goodness, no wonder why our island state has tons and tons of criminals out on parole, out on probation, off the hook on little to no jail time, only to very likely commit more crimes.
on August 23,2012 | 11:58AM
pakeheat wrote:
So what you are saying is an accident is always a crime?
on August 23,2012 | 12:21PM
dlum003 wrote:
Of course it won't bring the girl back, but this is a preventive measure designed to deter future careless behavior. If you let it slide, you lose that element.
on August 23,2012 | 12:15PM
bully106 wrote:
i so agree... consider this youthful indiscretion. come up with some other penalties instead of sending him to prison. this could happen to any of our kids.
on August 23,2012 | 05:09PM
saveparadise wrote:
Jail time will not be the correct sentencing. He will need to be out working to pay the law suit.
on August 23,2012 | 09:27AM
KekoaBradshaw wrote:
Let's see---he's 20. One year in jail leaves him 44 years to work to pay off the fine before he reaches retirement age of 65. Sounds reasonable to me. Let him man up and take responsibility for his actions.
on August 23,2012 | 11:02AM
saveparadise wrote:
My thoughts are, do we make an example of an ordinary everyday kid and risk turning him into a real criminal by exposing him to hard criminals? The judge will need to know more as to who the kid is and his character. My opinion is that this young man is true to his remorse and willing to pay for his actions. You cannot bring back a life by ruinging another's. Let him suffer financially as restitution. 1 year or less does sound reasonable although it would just be another negative in an unfortunate situation. I do realize that the girl's family feels a need to prosecute and get a conviction to strengthen the civil law suit.
on August 23,2012 | 12:28PM
mamacita808 wrote:
What more do you want from him...blood? How much more does he need to "man up"? What exactly does that mean by your standards? He has fully accepted his role in this mess, is obviously not a hardened, serial criminal. He made a mistake, simple. Unfortunately, that mistake took the life of someone else. He will pay for the rest of his life by having to live with the knowledge that he killed someone. I am sorry for the loss of Kristen. As a parent,I know I would be absolutely devastated.
on August 23,2012 | 03:40PM
HawaiiCheeseBall wrote:
Dude was careless. Pay a fine, go home.
on August 23,2012 | 09:36AM
1coconut wrote:
God I dont know what the prosecutor is thinking, $100K bond for a misdemeanor that was just an accident. Talking about an over reaction.
on August 23,2012 | 09:38AM
Anonymous wrote:
If Natasha Ryan deleting the video evidence of Dagley's crime is any indication of what kind of shenanigans were being perpetrated by the defendant behind the scenes, I wouldn't second-guess the prosecutor's bail request. The judge obviously agreed it was appropriate and justified.
on August 23,2012 | 11:03AM
beachbum11 wrote:
Yet the real crooks the politicians are out with no bail.
on August 23,2012 | 01:35PM
kailua000 wrote:
I gotta give it to this kid. He could have had a typical american response "not guility" but he didnt. The young man and the young victims families will have to deal with this the rest of their lives.
on August 23,2012 | 12:13PM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
Only one year for the death of a young girl? I know it was an accident but it was recklessness. If he had hit the girl using a car for not paying attention he might have gotten more time. Maybe not. But one year? Are you kidding me? If that was my daughter or son, I would be upset. In fact, the father was trying to stop this guy from running into his daughter. This is a miscarriage of justice.
on August 23,2012 | 01:45PM
false wrote:
You said it: Reckless endangerment and it ended in death. He could have been killed too.
on August 23,2012 | 09:15PM
aussiejohn wrote:
Accidents don't just happen...they are CAUSED, this guy is 20 not just a kid AND his girlfriend tried to cover it all up..!!!!! If it was my daughter who was killed I would insist on the full weight of the law against this person.
on August 23,2012 | 02:05PM
hawaiianstyle wrote:
Wow! I guess some of you are all perfect saints and never made a mistake or had an accident. What if it was your daughter who caused the accident? I guess you'd want her to be punished to the full extent and make her suffer since she was so "reckless". And one year is the full weight of the law because it was an accident. It wasn't premeditated murder. We should be more pissed that the Koko head stabber is being treated more favorably than this poor kid. That was not an accident!
on August 23,2012 | 04:05PM
GFORCE51 wrote:
So! Are saying that the 20 year old adult ( not kid ) was also mentally ill when he caused the accident? And now his the victim.
on August 23,2012 | 05:21PM
hawaiianstyle wrote:
If that's what you think I'm saying then I hope your under 20 years old because only an ignorant kid would come to that conclusion. if not, how many regrettable mistakes did you make when you were 20? At 20 guys think they know everything and are indestructible. Unfortunately he had to learn a life lesson the really hard way and the guilt and burden of what he did will forever damage him more than any amount of $ or jail time will.
on August 23,2012 | 05:37PM
squidman22 wrote:
He didn't intend to cause the girl any harm. His girlfriend obstructing justice by destroying evidence didn't help him. Its a terrible situation all around. I am hoping for a suspended sentence for him. It was a horrible accident caused by a momentary lapse of judgement.
on August 23,2012 | 03:02PM
sohappy2beme wrote:
It is really hard to say what i would do, but I don't think I could sue this boy if I were the girl's parents. it isn't going to bring my daughter back and I don't want to profit from my child's death. He made a tragic mistake and he has been nothing but remorseful. Why would you want to ruin his life because your daughter is gone? I would hope that I would be able to forgive him, and if anything advocate for better rules, better oversight at Keehi Lagoon, and maybe sue Aloha Jet Ski for negligence on their part, but suing this boy is not going to bring their daughter back. I am having a harder and harder time sympathizing with the parents who just seem to be looking to profit and not really looking at this boy and how he didn't intentionally kill their daughter.
on August 23,2012 | 05:07PM
st1d wrote:
wonder if his sentence can be arranged to be served in australia. let the cost of boarding dagley for any incarceration be borne by his country.
on August 23,2012 | 05:24PM
honokai wrote:
from KGMB ---- "We don't feel that he's remorseful," Canton said. The step-father is a deputy director of Homeland Security. He doesn't see any remorse. Well, the rest of us do. Thankfully, so far this government law enforcement official will not get his way and his desire for revenge and felony prosecution has been trumped by our judicial system. Clearer minds will prevail in this the Aloha State. The loss is terrible. But injustice against this young man would only make it worse.
on August 23,2012 | 05:50PM
honokai wrote:
Now we will wait and see if this young man will be forever banned from the U.S.A. We will be watching our government very closely on that one.
on August 23,2012 | 05:53PM
hawaiianstyle wrote:
Canton is embarrassing himself and making a mockery of his stepdaughters tragic death. Being filled with hate and consumed with revenge is not the answer. Trying to benefit monetarily is just sad and wrong. What more do you want Dagley to do? Should he kill himself to make it even? If Canton is a real man he'd find it in his heart to forgive and understand it was an accident. That is the true test of his character.
on August 23,2012 | 06:44PM
hawaiianstyle wrote:
I mean how will getting $$ help ease the pain of losing your stepdaughter? He'll be able to go buy stuff and that will make it better? How do you put a price on a life? No amount of $ will bring her back or replace her, unless for Canton a new car, house, vacation or cash will.
on August 23,2012 | 06:50PM
honokai wrote:
If the jet ski rental company has an insurance policy that will compensate some costs that they have incurred after the horrible loss of their daughter, then I guess they need to do what they got to do. They got an ambulance chaser on board already. My bigger concern is how we treat people and our visitors that have been in an accident. They have done everything they can to try to put the screws on this guy and his hyper-scared girl friend. HomeLand security and HPD are just people too. Nobody should be allowed to get caught up in the moment if they are serving in a professional capacity. So far, it appears this thing is headed for a fair and just resolution. But that is only because there are checks and balances in the system. And we are watching.
on August 23,2012 | 07:11PM
false wrote:
Sad price for the loss of a precious child. He has learned that juvenile arrogance cost a life. He has lost a lot of weight since the event and OCCC will be a harsh lesson for him if it hasn't been already. It doesn't pay to mess up in Hawai`i. So Deedy needs the same reckoning. Justice requires equity. This young man isn't going to appease the public for Deedy. It just affirms what is fair. So sad for this young Austrailian but look at the permanent loss of someone else's child. He can serve his time and go home and start over.
on August 23,2012 | 09:08PM
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