Hearing set Thursday for husband of burn victim

LIHU’E — A preliminary hearing has been scheduled in District Court Thursday

for Gregory Aguiar, 49, of ‘Ele’ele, who has been charged with attempted murder

for allegedly pouring a flammable liquid on his wife on Sunday and setting her

on fire.

During an arraignment for Aguiar, District Court Judge Clifford

Nakea set the preliminary hearing for 9:30 a.m.

In addition to the

attempted murder charge, Aguiar has been charged with reckless endangering in

the first degree.

The victim, Muilan Aguiar, 40, of Ele’ele, suffered

third-degree burns over 85 percent of her body and was in critical condition at

Straub Clinic and Hospital on O’ahu.

She was initially treated at Kaua’i

Veterans Memorial Hospital in Waimea for her injuries and was medivaced by

aircraft to the O’ahu hospital.

Shay Bintliff, medical director for the

emergency department at Kaua’i Veterans Hospital, said a quick response by her

staff helped increased Mrs. Aguiar’s chances for survival.

“This is really

exception,” Bintliff said, “because they had to work under exceptionally

difficult conditions. It went like clockwork.”

Aguiar survived the attack,

reported about 11 a.m, after she ran from her home on Pualei Street to a

neighbor’s home and hosed herself down. Neighbors helped extinguished the

blaze.

Yesterday, Aguiar, who wore an orange prison jump suit and

sandals, seldom looked up during the court proceeding.

Aguiar reportedly

drove off in a vehicle after his wife’s clothes caught on fire. He

surrendered to police in the Numila area after 1 p.m.

Aguiar failed to

post $100,000 bail and has been confined at the Kaua’i Community Correctional

Center in Wailua.

Aguiar, a Kauai Coffee employee, has qualified for legal

services from the state Public Defender’s Office.

But the state agency

bowed out of the case because of a conflict of interest, said Deputy Public

Defender Ed Acoba. Replacing him was Kaua’i attorney Peter Kea.

In other

court action:

*Noel Dacucuy, 24, of Puhi pleaded not guilty to 52 counts of

sexual assault in the third degree.

The charges stem from his alleged

assault of two juvenile girls at a home in East Kaua’i from August 1993 to June

1999.

A trial has been set for June 19.

Dacucuy was confined to Kaua’i

Community Correctional Center after he failed to post $100,000

bail.

*Circuit Judge George Masuoka sentenced Juliet Arzadon of Kapa’a to

60 days in jail and 5 years probation for receiving an overpayment of

$29,256.40 in cash and benefits from the state Department of Human Services

from 1996 to 1999.

Masuoka also required Arzadon to continue to pay

restitution to the state agency, to perform 400 hours of community service and

to comply with other conditions.

Arzadon lived with two children at their

home in Kapa’a, and didn’t identify her boyfriend, the father of the children,

when she received the DHS payments, according to Deputy Prosecuting Attorney

Craig DeCosta.

Masuoka said Arzadon was already receiving benefits and

improperly took advantage of the system by accepting the additional

benefits.

Arzadon was represented by Deputy Public Defender Ed Acoba, who

said his client was a good worker and made a wrong decision in accepting the

extra funds.

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