comscore Pittsburgh man may leave Hawaii before manslaughter trial | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Every act of aloha counts. Click here to DONATE to the MAUI RELIEF Fund.
Top News

Pittsburgh man may leave Hawaii before manslaughter trial

Honolulu Star-Advertiser logo
Unlimited access to premium stories for as low as $12.95 /mo.
Get It Now
                                Benjamin Fleming


    Benjamin Fleming

A Pittsburgh man charged with manslaughter in the death of a friend he was vacationing with in Hawaii will be allowed to return to the U.S. mainland before his trial, a judge ruled today.

Benjamin Fleming, released on $250,000 bond, must return to the Big Island for hearings in June and two weeks before his Aug. 3 trial date, 3rd Circuit Court Judge Robert D.S. Kim ruled.

Fleming and two friends he’s known since attending Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh were staying at a vacation rental in Kailua-Kona last month.

Alexander Germany-Wald of Montclair, New Jersey, testified at a preliminary hearing for Fleming 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.

Kim today denied Fleming’s request to reduce his bail to $100,000. Kim noted that a bail bonds company had already posted the $250,000.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Charles Murray didn’t oppose allowing Fleming to leave Hawaii, but said his bail should remain the same due to the nature of the charge and his lack of ties in Hawaii.

Kim said Fleming may leave, but imposed conditions including not leaving the U.S. without court permission, signing a waiver of extradition and returning at least two weeks before his trial begins.

Comments (10)

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