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Girlfriend who misled police in jet ski fatality pleads no contest

By Rosemarie Bernardo

LAST UPDATED: 02:22 p.m. HST, Dec 14, 2012

The girlfriend of an Australian tourist convicted of causing the death of a California teenager in a jet ski crash at Keehi Lagoon pleaded no contest today for misleading police in the criminal investigation of the fatal collision.

Natasha Ryan of Brisbane, Australia, was granted a chance to have her case dismissed if she stays out of trouble for six months, but must pay a $1,000 fine.

Ryan was charged with second-degree hindering prosecution, a misdemeanor offense. She faced a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $2,000 fine. 

She was granted a six-month deferral, which means the misdemeanor charge will be removed from her U.S. record if she stays out of trouble for six months. Honolulu District Judge Leslie Hayashi also fined Ryan $1,000 as a condition of her deferral. Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Scotty Hu objected to the six-month deferral but Hayashi overruled Hu’s objection, according to Ryan’s attorney Walter Rodby, who was in court today to represent her. Ryan did not appear in court.

Rodby submitted a plea by mail to Hayashi from Ryan in November. At that time, Hayashi granted a continuance while Rodby worked out the terms of Ryan’s deferral.

Ryan turned herself in to police on Aug. 11, six days after the fatal Keehi Lagoon accident, and was released after she posted $500 bail.

Kristen Fonseca, 16, of Vacaville, Calif., died from brain injury on Aug. 6, a day after her rented personal watercraft was rammed from behind by one operated by Ryan’s boyfriend, Tyson Dagley, 20. 

Ryan had told police that Dagley was traveling at a slow or medium speed before the collision occurred. She also told authorities he was sitting and looking straight ahead before the crash and that she didn’t see the collision or take photos.  

A forensic computer expert with the Honolulu Police Department recovered two deleted videos from a memory stick in Ryan’s digital camera. One of the videos showed the collision. It also showed Dagley standing on his rented watercraft.

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

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livinginhawaii wrote:
She probably should have just plead guilty and be done with it. My guess is that by not doing that its resulted in this absolutely flattering pic being posted 20 times more than it should have been...
on December 14,2012 | 02:11PM
kainalu wrote:
Gee. I feel really, really safe now. And I'm really happy that our judicial system spent all these resources adjudicating this case. smh
on December 14,2012 | 02:24PM
atilter wrote:
bet if the vic of this useless death caused by inconsiderate and uncontrolled recreational activity was a relative of yours, you wouldn't be saying something as cynical or sarcastic in a public forum like this....recklessness while operating any type of vehicle should never be condoned....full and unrelenting prosecution is the only answer!!!!!...wish you well and hope you or any of your loved ones will never be on the receiving end of a similar injurious situation.....
on December 14,2012 | 03:18PM
Anonymous wrote:
Right. A much better judicial system would be to let internet commentators like yourself pick and choose which laws to enforce.
on December 14,2012 | 03:46PM
Surfer_Dude wrote:
Ban her from ever entering the U.S. again.
on December 14,2012 | 04:51PM
soundofreason wrote:
A fine upstanding deceptive citizen. Yes, we need to keep her record clean.
on December 14,2012 | 06:21PM
hikine wrote:
Was he that worth it to lie for? She's a trash.
on December 14,2012 | 07:35PM
honokai wrote:
This was an accident. Sorry to see such hate towards our visitors. This comment section doesn't represent most of us. I wish the very best for this young lady and her family. Aloha.
on December 14,2012 | 08:08PM
Bdpapa wrote:
Me too!
on December 14,2012 | 08:16PM
HD36 wrote:
So she refused to rat on her boyfriend. Loyalty has no price.
on December 14,2012 | 10:18PM
tiki886 wrote:
She lied about the circumstances of the of the killing. She said her boyfriend was looking straight ahead when he was actually showing off and speeding in the video tape. That's not loyalty, that's perjury.
on December 15,2012 | 01:42AM
Qualified wrote:
What if she got away with the lie? What then? It was a key piece of evidence from her camera.
on December 17,2012 | 12:39PM
Qualified wrote:
What if she got away with the lie? What then? It was a key piece of evidence from her camera.
on December 17,2012 | 12:43PM
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