Attempted murder suspect back in custody

The man who had been released following an attempted murder, attempted-suicide incident in Kapa‘a without posting bail has been re-jailed after a hearing in District Court on Thursday.

Lancelot Johnson, 32, was found to have violated terms of his supervised release when he contacted at least one witness involved in the case, and was taken into custody with bail set at $50,000, according to the county prosecutor’s office.

A spokeswoman for the Kaua‘i Community Correctional Center confirmed yesterday that Johnson was indeed in custody.

A member of the local community, who asked not to be identified, said that Johnson had been in the area talking to neighbors about the case, offering apologies and saying that the case against him would likely “go away.”

The resident said that Johnson’s presence was making locals “extremely uncomfortable” and that the feeling in the community was “bordering on outrage.”

“How can someone who did these things, or is even accused of doing these things, be allowed to just wander around?” the resident asked.

According to an indictment on file with the District Court, Johnson took a “substantial step” toward causing the death of Anna Pinoliar, his fiancee, on July 13.

A source familiar with the case, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that Johnson also attempted suicide in that incident and sustained major injuries, spending more than a week at Wilcox Memorial Hospital.

Johnson was arrested by Det. Trent Shimabukuro on July 24, with bail initially set by the presiding judge at $100,000, according to Kaua‘i Police Department records.

However, after spending just one night in jail, Johnson was released on his own recognizance without posting bail because neither the sheriffs, a state agency, nor the KPD, part of the county, wanted to be responsible for his medical needs while in custody, according to the source.

After spending the weekend being taken care of by Pinoliar, Johnson was re-arraigned and instead granted a supervised release, the source said.

Under conditions of that release, Johnson was required to maintain daily contact with authorities and undergo psychological treatment within 30 days, according to the source. He was also prohibited from contact with Pinoliar and other witnesses, a condition he did not meet.

Johnson’s preliminary hearing in District Court was originally scheduled for late July, but a court-ordered mental examination postponed Johnson’s initial court appearance until Nov. 18.

County prosecutor Craig De Costa said that he would not be involved in the case because he is familiar with both Johnson and Pinoliar and that deputy prosecuting attorney Mauna Kea Trask would be handling it instead.


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