Judge says no to reduced bail

LIHUE — A Fifth Circuit Court Judge Tuesday told a man convicted of assaulting an officer and bail jumping that he didn’t even need to hear the prosecutor’s argument before denying the motion to reduce the man’s bail.

Chief Judge Randal Valenciano reminded Ray Kuna Harada Jr., who is awaiting sentencing for assault against a law enforcement officer, bail jumping and an amended charge of first-degree terroristic threatening, that he was the judge that had reduced his bail once before.

“Mr. Harada, I was the one who reduced your bail that led to this spree … this crime spree,” Valenciano said. “And I reduced the bail at the same request that you wanted to be out in the community pending sentencing.”

Deputy prosecutor George White and defense attorney Mark Zenger had prepared statements Tuesday, in opposition and in support of the motion, respectively.

While Harada was out last year awaiting trial, he racked up multiple charges including bail jumping — after he didn’t show up court one day — contempt of court, first-degree assault against a law enforcement officer — times three, first degree escape and resisting arrest.

Harada, who is scheduled for sentencing on Oct. 6, filed a motion on Aug. 21 to have his bail reduced to $1,000 for each case, for a total of $3,000.

In his motion, Harada, 44, states that the plea agreements reached with the state “substantially reduce the severity and amount of aggravated felony counts …”

After a brief statement Tuesday from Harada, who told the court he wanted to bail out before his sentencing in October, the court ruled on the motion.

“While you were out you picked up additional charges, you made the news,” Valenciano said. “I don’t need to hear from Mr. White. I’m ready to rule on the motion. I’m going to deny your motions. And your hearing date is set.”

Prosecuting Attorney Justin Kollar told The Garden Island that Harada “will be looking at a significant prison sentence.”

“Thus we believe that the bail amount is appropriate and he should remain in custody,” he said.

Harada’s bail is set at $300,100, according to his defense attorney.

Harada remains incarcerated at Kauai Community Correctional Center.


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