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Trial for alleged puppy mill manager rescheduled

By Gregg K. Kakesako

LAST UPDATED: 9:42 a.m. HST, Oct 26, 2012

The Circuit Court jury trial for the former manager of a Waimanalo puppy mill has been re-scheduled for Dec. 17.

David Lee Becker, who has been held behind bars since June unable to post $200,000 bail, requested a new lawyer since his old attorney, Deputy Public Defender Steven Nichols, was unable to get a judge to approve his supervised release.

Becker was the manager of Bradley International when the Hawaiian Humane Society and the Honolulu police seized 153 dogs on Feb. 28, 2010.

Circuit Judge Glenn Kim this week granted Becker’s request for a new attorney and continued the case until Dec. 17. His new court-appointed attorney is Tae Won Kim. 

In September, Judge Kim rejected Becker’s request to be released to the supervision of his sister.

Becker's sister has said her brother had left Hawaii in May 2011 because their 77-year-old grandmother in Nevada requested his help.

However, city prosecutors have said he he left the state to avoid being arrested.

Judge Kim also has questioned the timing of Becker's departure.

He also warned Becker in open court that "consecutive jail time is a possibility" if Becker is convicted. 

Becker could be fined as much as $306,000 and spend at least a year in jail, if convicted.

He was detained in Las Vegas on June 8 and then extradited to Honolulu a week later. His bail was doubled from $100,000 on June 18 and he has been in Oahu Community Correctional Center since then.

Bradley International pleaded no contest in December 2010 to the 153 counts of animal cruelty. However, none of the $370,701 in restitution, $306,000 in fines and $8,415 in court fees were ever paid because the company has gone out of business.

According to state business records, the chief executive and director of the company is Shannon Luke, the president and secretary is Becker, and the treasurer is Vernon Luke.

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