comscore Tourist in deadly vacation rental fight asks to leave Hawaii | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Top News

Tourist in deadly vacation rental fight asks to leave Hawaii

                                Benjamin Fleming


    Benjamin Fleming

A Pittsburgh man pleaded not guilty Thursday to manslaughter in the strangulation of a college buddy he was vacationing with on the Big Island.

A judge ordered Benjamin Fleming, who has been released on $250,000 bond, not to leave the Big Island without court permission pending his trial, scheduled for August.

Fleming was staying at a Kailua-Kona Airbnb last month with two buddies he’s known since college at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

Alexander Germany-Wald of Montclair, New Jersey, testified at a preliminary hearing for Fleming last week that their friend, Abhishek Gupta, also of Pittsburgh, got “psychotically” drunk on their first night on the Big Island.

Germany-Wald said he walked Gupta back to the rental, where Gupta punched him. When Fleming returned to the condo, he intervened by restraining Gupta, Germany-Wald said.

Gupta was on the floor snoring, but the two other men later noticed he stopped breathing, Germany-Wald said.

An autopsy determined Gupta had been strangled.

Fleming told the judge he’s now staying at a bed and breakfast in Captain Cook. His attorney Christopher Eggert filed a motion today asking that Fleming’s bail be reduced to $100,000 and for permission to return to the U.S. mainland.

Eggert’s motion said Fleming “has no prior felony conviction, and has no record of missing any court appearance.”

A hearing on the request is scheduled for next week.

Comments (22)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature

Scroll Up