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Australian plans no contest plea for role in Keehi watercraft crash

By Gregg K. Kakesako

LAST UPDATED: 11:17 a.m. HST, Nov 27, 2012

The 21-year-old girlfriend of the Australian tourist convicted of causing the death of a Northern California teenage girl in August plans to enter a plea of no contest to a misdemeanor charge of misleading police during the criminal investigation.

Under a plea by mail submitted to the District Court this morning Natasha Ryan, a Brisbane dental hygienist, admitted that she purposely deleted video she had taken of the Aug. 5 personal watercraft accident in Keehi Lagoon that killed Kristen Fonseca, 16, of Vacaville, Calif.

Her attorney, Walter Rodby, worked out an arrangement and submitted it to District Judge Leslie Hayashi this morning. Hayashi continued the case until Dec. 14 while Rodby works out terms of the deferral with Ryan and the prosecution.

Ryan would not spend any time in jail under the plan. She had faced a maximum jail term of one year. 

Ryan left islands following the Aug. 5 incident and is free on $500 bail.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Darryl Miyahira told Hayashi that there was “no excuse” for what Ryan did and she should be fined the maximum $2,000 for the crime of second-degree hindering prosecution. Rodby requested that Ryan only be fined $500 — the amount she posted as bail.

Miyahira also objected to the defense's proposal that the judge grant Ryan a deferred acceptance of no-contest plea, which means that if she stays out of trouble for six months the offense would be wiped off her U.S. criminal record.

But Hayashi pointed out that Ryan’s boyfriend, Tyson Dagley, was granted a deferral after he pled no contest for causing the death of Fonseca.

Rodby said he had received more than 50 letters and e-mails in support of Ryan.

In his request for a $2,000 fine, Miyahira said that two days elapsed before Ryan was interrogated by police and told detectives that she didn’t take videos of the accident.

Miyahira said Ryan showed a “high degree of criminality” when she lied to police.

But Rodby said that Ryan was here without the support of friends or family and hadn’t slept for two days before she was interrogated in his office.

Rodby said that since returning to Australia, Ryan has been getting counseling for post traumatic stress.

Ryan’s boyfriend, Dagley, was standing on his rented watercraft on Aug. 5 before it hit Fonseca's watercraft from behind. Dagley admitted he was not paying attention to where he was going, only looking at his girlfriend, who was taking video and photos.

Dagley pleaded no contest to third-degree homicide in September and was sentenced to 12 days he had already spent in jail because he was unable to make bail. He also was ordered to pay the Fonseca family $78,000 in restitution. Dagley was granted a deferred acceptance of a no-contest plea and the conviction will be removed from his U.S. criminal record if he stays out of trouble for a year.

Rodby said that Dagley's only obligation now is to mail his monthly restitution payment to the courts here.

Ryan had told police that Dagley was going slow or at medium speed throughout his rides and before the collision was sitting down and looking straight ahead. She said she didn’t see the collision and didn’t take photos of it.

An HPD forensic computer technician was able to recover two deleted video segments from the memory stick in Ryan’s Olympus camera, one of which shows the collision, according to police. In the video, Dagley appears to be standing on the watercraft, the report said.

In September, Ryan was granted a two-month continuance to work out the details of a guilty plea by mail. She was charged on Aug. 11

Fonseca’s family has filed a wrongful death suit against Dagley and Aloha Jet Ski Rental.

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cojef wrote:
Destroying or withholding vital information should be punished.
on November 27,2012 | 10:01AM
allie wrote:
Why is she getting a harsher penalty than locals who regularly walk with these sorts of charges?
on November 27,2012 | 11:05AM
The_Dude_Abides wrote:
I don't have the faintest idea; what do you think?
on November 27,2012 | 11:19AM
allie wrote:
She made a bad mistake but many locals have done much worse. I hope this does not get broad publicity in Australia as it could cost this tourist site big time. And suspicion of racial/ethnic/geographical bias will really hurt.
on November 27,2012 | 11:34AM
8082062424 wrote:
yada yada yada same old trash out of your mouth
on November 27,2012 | 03:02PM
ISAY wrote:
This young white girl from a different country has no ties to politics, to HPD, nor to any other host of local connections, as far as one can imagine. Perhaps....
on November 27,2012 | 11:35AM
RetiredWorking wrote:
I hate North Dakotans. I wish I could go school there, so I can denigrate the locals there.
on November 27,2012 | 12:29PM
jomama wrote:
Well for starters, they are all men.
on November 27,2012 | 12:37PM
IAmSane wrote:
"I want to move to North Dakota"

said no one ever.
on November 27,2012 | 02:01PM
aomohoa wrote:
Good one RetiredWorking!
on November 27,2012 | 03:33PM
kahu808 wrote:
on November 27,2012 | 01:10PM
aomohoa wrote:
on November 27,2012 | 03:35PM
8082062424 wrote:
Im sure if you ask the parents who lost there daughter because of this girl bf and her trying to cover it up. they share how big a loss it was for them over what you feel is nothing
on November 27,2012 | 03:07PM
aomohoa wrote:
I feel bad for the family, but these types of activities can be dangerous. I still say that this type of water craft should have a device on them to limit the speed. Many people ride them that have no clue what they are doing and how hazardous they can be.
on November 27,2012 | 11:50AM
allie wrote:
on November 27,2012 | 01:33PM
hungryhawn wrote:
Can't believe they went after this case! You don't need photos of what she had. That's typical of the local justice system, can't handle the real hard cases, but they sure waste time with the little ones! Over paid prosecutor! Cut their pay down!
on November 27,2012 | 12:42PM
allie wrote:
on November 27,2012 | 01:33PM
IAmSane wrote:
LOL nice white knighting.
on November 27,2012 | 02:03PM
false wrote:
on November 27,2012 | 02:08PM
serious wrote:
Also agree. This is tourist town, they were having fun, should we ban surfing and paddle boarding??? Hapens, sad but happens. She was scared, as previously bloged we've had worse situations than this!!
on November 27,2012 | 03:40PM
Tipops wrote:
If it was your daughter or a family member that was KILLED through recklessness would you really feel that this case was a "little one". Shame on you to say that.
on November 27,2012 | 03:30PM
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