LIHUE — A man charged in a crash that killed a 19-year-old girl in Kapaa last year was found guilty in Fifth Circuit Court Thursday on theft charges in a separate case.
Cody Safadago, 47, formerly of Washington state, was charged with one count of second-degree theft, a Class C felony, and one count of third-degree theft, a misdemeanor, for stealing over $1,000 worth of items from a North Shore fine arts shop.
Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 12.
For the felony theft count, he could be facing up to five years in prison, and for the misdemeanor theft count, he could be facing up to one year in prison.
Safadago is scheduled to face a jury again in late October on nine counts relating to the April 27, 2017 death of Kayla Huddy-Lemn, where he faces the possibility of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
According to police, Safadago was driving a stolen pickup truck when it crossed the center line on Kuhio Highway in front of the Courtyards at Waipouli, striking a sedan head-on that was driven by Huddy-Lemn.
After the impact the pickup continued south for about 500 feet until it came to a stop near Kintaro Japanese Restaurant.
Huddy-Lemn was transported to Wilcox Medical Center where she was pronounced dead.
An on-scene investigation revealed the truck Safadago is alleged to have been driving was stolen from a home in Kapaa just minutes before the accident. He fled the scene on foot, but was later located by police at the Wailua Shopping Plaza and apprehended following a struggle.
Safadago suffered minor injuries as a result of the accident and was transported to Wilcox Medical Center for treatment after he was apprehended.
Since his indictment and arrest, Safadago has gone through several defense attorneys and maintains that he wasn’t the driver of the vehicle.
In March, attorney Melinda Mendes, his second defense attorney, argued before Chief Judge Randall Valenciano for the suppression of statements, because he was allegedly not read his Miranda rights before police officers began questioning him as to his involvement in the accident.
As a result of the questioning, Mendes argued statements made to the police at the police station be suppressed because they were obtained illegally.
On April 17, Mendes withdrew from the case and Oahu attorney Emmanuel Guerrero was appointed. On Sept. 11 he argued successfully for litigation expenses to secure an accident re-constructionist.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Matthew Arakawa is prosecuting the case.
Bethany Freudenthal, crime, courts and county reporter, can be reached at 652-7891 or firstname.lastname@example.org.