comscore Retired HPD officer pleads no contest in death of Mililani jogger | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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Retired HPD officer pleads no contest in death of Mililani jogger

  • COURTESY HONOLULU POLICE DEPT.

    Charles T. Duncan (left) has pleaded no contest to negligent homicide for causing the death of Shari Afuso (right).

A retired Honolulu police major pleaded no contest to negligent homicide in state court this morning for causing the death of a jogger in Mililani last year.

Charles T. Duncan, 73, faces a maximum five-year prison term at sentencing in September.

Police say Duncan was behind the wheel of a pickup truck that made a left turn off Meheula Parkway at Kuahelani Avenue and struck 49-year-old Shari Afuso on Feb. 5, 2015. An ambulance took Afuso to Queen’s Medical Center, where she died the following day. Police say Afuso was in a marked crosswalk.

Duncan was scheduled to stand trial for second-degree negligent homicide next month. He retired from the Honolulu Police Department in 1996 after more than 30 years of service.

Afuso was the courtroom manager for U.S. Magistrate Judge Kevin S.C. Chang. Family members said Afuso jogged regularly and was struck a couple of blocks away from her home.

Duncan is also from Mililani.

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  • I, too, have trouble seeing pedestrians in the crosswalk when I make left turns into intersections. If the person is behind my window post/column between the front windshield and driver’s window, I cannot see you. In addition to the post/column there’s a big driver’s rear view mirror. Add on rain defectors and you have a pretty thick blockage of view. If you are a pedestrian, LOOK at the car coming at you. If you cannot see me, then I cannot see you. Crosswalks will not protect you. Walk faster, hop, skip, jog, or run whenever you cross the street whether or not you are in a crosswalk or not. I do.

      • Actually that intersection really needs a signal. If you are making the left turn onto Kuahelani Ave. from Meheula west bound the oncoming traffic is coming up a hill and on a curve and its easy to misjudge their speed and distance. There are many times when people enter the intersection, making that same left turn movement, and have to accelerate because they have misjudged the speed of the oncoming traffic. Its really a strange thing the cars seem like they are farther away than they really are. I was wondering if this guy had the same thing happen, he realized the cars were closer than he thought and sped up and hit the pedestrian. Either way its his responsibility to operate his care responsibly. The intersection design notwithstanding.

  • Why is it only Max 5 years sentence for killing a person? That means that it is likely that the actual jail sentence will be very minimal. I hope we don’t get another 30 day jail term like what happened to that guy who ran off the road and killed a woman and seriously injured the lady’s granddaughter and then drove away from the scene.

  • I don’t understand. It was an accident, was there intent to kill or was the driver drunk or was he speeding or a combination of 2? I can see jail term if there was intent to kill but this sound like an accident. But I haven’t the facts of the case so… .

    • i agree it sounds like an accident. in part, that’s what negligent homicide is. the jail term may be what the law allows. (and fwiw, it says above the driver faces a maximum five-year prison term. the article doesn’t say what the minimum sentence that a judge must hand down to him. so we don’t know yet what his actual sentence will be. we’ll find out in september.)

    • He was negligent. Not watching where you are driving is being negligent. Killing a person is homicide.

      If there was “intent to kill”, it would be called “murder”.

      He killed a person – you think he can just say it was an “accident” and get off with a “sorry about that”?

      • No cause he was negligent. He was in control and his actions caused it. Now if a mechanical problem like failed brakes or fuel surge can be proved, then accident.

  • Tragic all the way around. Afuso didn’t get a chance to live out her life. Duncan made a terrible mistake that he has to live with for the rest of his life. But, this was not intentional. Duncan gave 30 years of his life to HPD. Afuso worked for Judge Chang. Compassion for both Afuso and Duncan are needed as Afuso’s family goes thru a tough time coping with the loss of their loved one.

    • It’s not a case of “unlucky to be at that very spot!”. Most people look where they are driving and wouldn’t have run down and snuffed out that lady’s life.

  • This is a terribly written story. Charles T. Duncan from what I can figure was arrested for the accident then was, I’m guessing was on probation…..Probation for what, DUI???? He was arrested again while on probation and is now serving 5 years.

    I think, Charles was drunk when he killed Shari Afuso. He was placed on probation and he failed a piss test.

  • What was this ex-officers blood alcohol level at the time he hit and killed this pedestrian? Did he refuse the test? What about test for drugs like weed, or crystal meth? SA left out a lot of key information in this story. If this officer was legally drunk or high on drugs when he killed Afuso in a crosswalk, would think his prison sentence should be more than 5 years.

      • Sorry “scooters” but “inverse” is right. There should be more to this story but it’s not here. The question is how long after this happened did HPD test him for any substance and what was done with the evidence. Drivers in Mililani almost always go over the speed limit. I know I slowed down after my last ticket.

  • Only 5 years for taking an innocent life? Or was it the 30 yrs of service that the judge in this case took into consideration of Duncan ?

    Nelson Daranciang did not indicate if any alcohol/drug tests were done on this felon. Did the police hide the fact because it was one of their own?

    Surviving family of Shari Afuso should pursue a civil case for compensation.

    • So how much of the blame for this accident falls on the runner? Is there any responsibility on the person crossing a street to ensure that it’s completely safe to do so? I think so….

  • Don’t think he’ll spend anytime in Jail. But the no-contest plea will lead to further litigation that will cost him a lot of money in wrongful death damages.

    • Hey, ptofview: Duncan is not taking responsibility for Afuso’s death….if he did, he would have pled guilty as there is no excuse for hitting a pedestrian in a crosswalk whether she was jogging or walking….SHE WAS IN A MARKED CROSSWALK….AND HE HIT HER AND SHE DIED FROM HIS NEGLIGENCE. Now, he’s pleading “no contest.” Give me a break…….

  • A tragedy that affect all involved and their families! An unavoidable accident! Our heartfelt condolences to everyone affected by this tragic accident.

  • Sad story … an attractive lady … today I’m on Ala Kava St where the old “Sprint” bldg was and is now a City and County Office … waiting in line to get into the Costco gas station. This guy holding a Costco hot dog and drink “jay walks” across Ala Kawa and I let him go in front of me … don’t want another pedestrian fatality … THIS GUYS IS A HPD OFFICER IN UNIFORM … JAYWALKING … AND I’M SURE HE GIVES OUT CITATIONS TO US MOTORIST WHO DON’T STOP FOR PEDESTRIANS IN CROSSWALKS OR PEDESTRIANS WHO JAYWALK … GREAT EXAMPLE TO SET …

  • There is no excuse for hitting a pedestrian in a crosswalk. This individual deserves a jail term….and it should be on his record…..to erase his conviction if he doesn’t create or cause another accident is a travesty….please don’t give me this garbage that he is a retired police officer with a good record…he hit and killed a woman jogger who was in a crosswalk…….for him to have a deferred sentence is a travesty for the victim’s family, friends, and relatives…..no excuse for this individual to have a deferred sentence….nothing more and nothing less.

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