Gonsalves preliminary hearing set for today

LIHU‘E — The Lawa‘i woman accused of stabbing her boyfriend last week in his leg is scheduled for a preliminary hearing today in 5th District Court.

The Kaua‘i Police Department on June 14 arrested Nicole Gonsalves, 25, following a medical call at about 3:41 a.m. at the Lawa‘i General Store, according to a county press release the following day.

On Thursday Gonsalves was arraigned on six counts: first-degree burglary, third-degree assault, first-degree terroristic threatening, first-degree assault, first-degree unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle and attempted unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, according to the Office of Prosecuting Attorney.

Gonsalves’ mother, Laura Menezes, says “some of the charges are crazy” and the prosecution will have to drop some of them.

Police said Gonsalves went to the home of her boyfriend, Robert Neal Ballard, early Tuesday morning. “Upon arriving at the residence, an altercation occurred between Gonsalves, another female, and the male victim,” county officials said in a news release Wednesday. “Gonsalves reportedly stabbed the male victim in his left leg during the altercation.”

The prosecutor’s office sent a press release Monday stating there is no information of any “physical altercation” between Ballard and Gonsalves except for Gonsalves stabbing Ballard in the leg, which caused a wound requiring surgery.

OPA says the residence was Ballard’s, and that Gonsalves lived there “off and on,” but had moved out June 13. At Gonsalves’ request, Ballard placed her items on the porch June 14 for her to pick up. She showed up at the residence on that day at approximately 3:10 a.m., according to OPA.

First Deputy Prosecutor Jake Delaplane said the landlord was interviewed and “gave a written statement that Gonsalves was not a resident of that address.”

Her mother had a different story. Menezes said her daughter was not a “random visitor.” She said she lived in the house and came home to find her boyfriend with another woman.

Menezes said Ballard had showed up at her home early in the evening of June 13 “whining” that Gonsalves had gone out with some friends.

“I guess he was upset with her because she went out with her friends,” said Menezes, adding that Ballard knew his girlfriend was coming back home later and brought another girl home “just to make her upset.”

Even after being told that the landlord had confirmed Gonsalves did not live in the same house as Ballard, Menezes stood by her story.

“She lived there, they found the house together, they lived together,” Menezes said. “It’s not like he lived there and she moved in. They moved in together.”


Ballard has an arrest record for family abuse on Nov. 19, 2009. OPA states the incident did not involve Gonsalves and no charges were filed following the arrest.

Menezes on Thursday said her daughter was “all beat in jail.” OPA states Gonsalves was reported to have a cut on her lip at the time of her arrest, but said that on Tuesday her booking photo showed “no visible injuries to her facial area and the portion of the top of her chest that is exposed.”

Menezes said the reason the wounds are not visible is that her daughter sustained a cut to the inside of her lip and a bruise on her eyelid. In the mugshot, Gonsalves’ mouth is shut and her head is tilted forward as she looks up. OPA states that Gonsalves was given medical clearance at Wilcox Memorial Hospital to allow her booking.

Menezes said that on Thursday she filed a Temporary Restraining Order against Ballard. Delaplane said it looks like Menezes submitted a request for a TRO a few days after the incident.

He said Gonsalves, according to OPA record checks, has never requested a TRO against Ballard.

Ballard and his landlord could not be reached for comment by press time.

The preliminary hearing will be at 1 p.m. at Lihu‘e Courthouse’s courtroom 2, presided over by Judge Trudy Senda.

• Léo Azambuja, staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 252) or lazambuja@ thegardenisland.com.


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