Friday, August 24, 2012

Hawaii: Australian Tourist, 20, Pleads No Contest in Negligent Homicide of CA Teen, 16, Faces 1 Year in Jail

As a follow-up to my August 15 posting, Australian tourist Tyson Dagley, 20, pleaded no contest on Thursday (August 23) after being charged with third-degree negligent homicide in a Hawaii personal watercraft crash that killed a California teen, Kristen Fonseca, 16, on August 5.

COMMENT: Unfortunately for Dagley, police investigators recovered a video clip of the defendant standing on a jet-ski posing for a photo as he looked toward his girlfriend, Natasha Ryan, 21, rather than looking where he was going. Subsequently, he crashed into Fonesca's jet-ski from behind; she died the following day.

Dagley faces up to a year in prison and a $2,000 fine if convicted. Currently, he is free on $100,000 bail; he has also surrendered his passport. Sentencing is scheduled for September 5.

In a related matter, Dagley’s girlfriend, Natasha Ryan, 21, remains charged with hindering his prosecution. She is free on $500 bail. Ryan told police that Dagley was sitting and looking straight ahead before the collision, and that she didn’t see the crash.

Yet, a forensic computer examiner recovered two deleted videos from the memory stick in Ryan’s camera, which depicted the crash. The report said that in the video, Dagley appears to be standing on the watercraft.

It should be noted that Fonesca's family has also filed a wrongful death suit against both Dagley and the company which rented him the jet-ski with no safety training.

This report will be updated after Dagley and Ryan are sentenced.