Bonachita trial set for July

LIHU‘E — After three years,  a trial involving a former police officer and a celebrity will go to trial.

Joseph Genaro Bonachita, 44, of Hanapepe, was in 5th Circuit Court on Monday for a hearing to set his trial date. The former Kaua‘i Police officer remained in the gallery and was not required to approach the court.

County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Lisa Arin noted that the defendant was present but that his counsel Michael Soong was not. Soong was reportedly home and ill, according to witness counsel Mark Zenger.

Zenger represents Randolph Trey Parker, who was present by telephone from the Mainland. The co-creator of the hit television series “South Park” was living on island July 1, 2009, when the incident occurred at his Wailua home.

Bonachita was arrested that day on a charge of first-degree burglary of Parker’s home. Another break-in reportedly occurred later that day, and Bonachita is accused of using a knife to threaten Parker and an acquaintance.

Bonachita was indicted for the break-in and two counts of first-degree terroristic threat, along with weapons and ammunition charges, in September 2009.

Discussions continued until the most recent state offer was refused in December 2011. The most recent court activity came on March 7, when Soong’s motion to consolidate the case with new charges was granted.

Judge Kathleen Watanabe of the  5th Circuit ordered Parker to appear in person for the new trial date reset for July 16.

Arin presented two additional witnesses who were present in court, and Watanabe also ordered them back for the new trial date. The witnesses presented possible conflicts with the date that will be addressed at a June pre-trial conference.

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