Suspect arraigned on murder, assault

LIHUE — The Lihue man accused in the slaying of Gary Allianic Jr. will have his preliminary hearing at 1 p.m. Thursday. 

Francisco Keola Manuel, 37, waived his right to have his charges read to him during his arraignment Tuesday in front of District Court Judge Trudy Senda.

He was arraigned on murder in the second degree “for intentionally or knowingly causing the death” of Allianic Jr. and assault in the second degree, for “recklessly causing substantial injury to Jasmine Duque,” according to court documents.

If convicted, Manuel faces a maximum of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

“The enhanced sentence is possible because the defendant has been convicted of multiple felony offenses as an adult,” prosecuting attorney Justin Kollar said.

Manuel was arrested in Lihue about 6 p.m. Saturday. Police tracked him down after Allianic Jr.’s, body was found near the Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall about 4:45 that morning.

Duque — Manuel’s girlfriend — told The Garden Island in a previous interview that Manuel and Allianic Jr. got in a fight Friday night and at some point a knife was wielded and she was stabbed.

During Manuel’s arraignment’s, the public defender’s office declared a conflict of interest.

Deputy Public Defender John Calma said his office represented Allianic Jr. in a previous unrelated case and did not “want to represent Mr. Manuel in a case where he victimized our client.”

The judge appointed attorney Mark Zenger to represent Manuel. Bail was kept at $1 million.

A handful of family and friends of Manuel were present at the arraignment. Through tears, his cousin Dena Takahashi said Manuel would never hurt anyone.

“That is not Keola (Manuel). He is not a harmful person,” she said. “He’s good-hearted. He’s humble. He’s had his problems in the past like everybody else did. … I know in my heart he wouldn’t just do something like this. I feel bad for the families of everybody. Too many kids got hurt. This is ridiculous.”

Zenger is reviewing the discovery in the Manuel case, but said he has not received a police report from the state. He expects to receive it Thursday.

Kauai Police Department investigators believe that Allianic Jr., 38, of Lihue, died of injuries sustained in an assault. He was married and had three children.

An autopsy is scheduled Thursday to determine the cause of death, said Sarah Blane, KPD spokeswoman.

Manuel has three prior felony convictions from 1999 where he was charged with unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle. He was sentenced to five years confinement for each charge that ran concurrently.

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Michelle Iracheta can be reached at 245-0424 or miracheta@thegardenisland.com.

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