Trial for police officer moved

LIHUE —The trial for the Kauai police officer charged with negligent homicide for allegedly causing the death of a 19-year-old man on Kaumalii Highway has been moved to October.

Irvin Magayanes was set to appear before Fifth Circuit Court Chief Judge Randal Valenciano on Monday to begin jury selection, but his defense attorney Craig De Costa said Thursday he was still awaiting police reports and other evidence.

De Costa requested that the trial be moved to Sept. 26, while the state asked that it be continued until October. The trial date was set to October 24.

Magayanes is charged with one count of negligent homicide in the second degree after allegedly hitting and killing 19-year-old Michael Kocher Jr. of Hanapepe with his car on Jan. 3 while responding to the scene of a previous accident where Kocher had just been hit by the driver of another vehicle, according to initial police reports. Kocher died at the scene.

Magayanes was the first officer to respond to the accident, according to court records.

In the motion to dismiss felony information, which was denied by the court, defense attorneys De Costa and Daniel Hempey argue that Magayanes as an officer speeding to scene of an accident did not operate his vehicle in a grossly negligent manner.

Magayanes was going about 70 mph, or 19-24 mph over the 50 mph posted speed when he allegedly hit and killed Kocher.

His attorneys further argued in their motion that Magayanes allegedly tried to swerve before hitting Kocher, who was covered up with a tarp after being hit by the first vehicle.

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Michelle Iracheta, cops and courts reporter, can be reached at 245-0424

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