A 20-year-old Australian visitor who pleaded no contest to fatally injuring a Northern California teenage girl with a rented personal watercraft during a “dream vacation” was sentenced today to time already served, and was released.
Circuit Judge Richard Perkins also said Tyson Dagley would have to pay restitution of $78,000 — in $30 monthy installments — to the family of victim Kristen Fonseca.
Perkins allowed Dagley to return to Australia after he makes arrangements for monitoring by probation officials in Honolulu.
Dagley left the courtroom with his parents.
Perkins also granted a request from Walter Rodby, Dagley’s attorney, for a deferred acceptance of a no-contest plea, which means the misdemeanor conviction could be erased from his U.S. criminal record if he stays out of trouble for a year.
Deputy Prosector Scott Bell said after the hearing that Fonseca’s family expressed “disappointment” and that they believe the sentence was “inappropriate.”
Bell had asked that Dagley, a Brisbane carpet cleaner, be required to serve the maximum term of the misdemeanor offense — one year in jail — for the accidental death of Fonseca, of Vacaville, Calif.
Fonseca died Aug. 6 of a brain injury, a day after her rented personal watercraft was rammed from behind by one driven by Dagley at the Aloha Jet Ski operation in Keehi Lagoon.
During today’s hearing, Fonseca’s parents, Mario and Evangelina Canton, and their daughter Monique gave emotional testimony asking the judge to impose the maximum one-year sentence.
During Evangelina Canton’s testimony, Dagley held his head in his hands and wept.
Perkins said Dagley appeared genuinely remourseful and is unlikely to commit a similar crime again. Perkins ruled that the crime was an accident and noted that Dagley has no criminal history.
“No sentence can reap the meaning of her (Fonseca’s) loss,” Perkins said.
Rodby said of Dagley, “He is a good kid that made a mistake, a horrible, horrible mistake.”
In court, Dagley said he was “deeply sorry” for causing the death of Kristin Fonseca. “I pray every day for Kristen and her family,” he told the judge. He then put his head in his arms on the defendant’s table and sobbed.
Dagley and his parents left the courtroom without speaking to reporters.
Dagley was charged with third-degree negligent homicide Aug. 10. He spent 12 days at the Oahu Community Correctional Community Center before his parents, Alan and Ann Dagley, were able to raise his $100,000 bail. He entered a plea of no contest on Aug. 25.
Police said Dagley was looking at his girlfriend, Natsha Ryan, who was taking video and photos, and was not paying attention to where he was driving the jet ski. Police report said Dagley was speeding recklessly at speeds between 40 and 45 mph.
Ryan has been charged with hindering prosecution, a misdemeanor, because she allegedly deleted two videos of the incident from her camera. She is expected to enter a plea at her arraignment Sept. 7.