Proceedings for murder suspect could be moved

LIHUE — The attorney for a man accused of killing his wife 10 years ago wants to make sure he will get a fair trial.

“We’re preparing for a motion to change location,” said Michael Green. “I didn’t realize the magnitude of her name here, with events like the golf tournament. We need to see if he’ll get a fair trial on this island.”

Darren Galas is charged with second-degree murder in connection to the 2006 death of Sandra Galas. She was found dead in her car, which was parked inside the garage of her Eleele home on Jan. 25, 2006, according to reports.

She suffered strangulation from a cord-like object and blunt-force trauma to the head as causes of death, police said. Later that year, Galas was arrested and held for 48 hours on suspicion of her murder, but was released.

On Tuesday, Galas appeared before Judge Kathleen Watanabe on a second-degree murder charge.

During the hearing, Green filed a motion to change venues, which is set to take place on Feb. 6.

But he conceded that it is ultimately up to the Watanabe to decide if the trial should be moved.

“I leave it up to you,” he said.

It is not clear where Galas’ trial will be held if the motion is approved.

Darren and Sandra Galas were married in 1999 and separated in 2005. Sandra filed for divorce in August 2005 and police believe she was killed while she and Darren were involved in a custody dispute over their two children.

For the last nine years, the YWCA of Kauai has hosted the Never Forget Sandy G Golf Tournament, which highlights the young woman’s life.

During Tuesday’s proceedings, Jennifer Winn, first deputy prosecuting attorney, said she didn’t have a problem with the motion, but she didn’t want it to push the trial date further.

In 2012, Galas was arrested and charged with second-degree murder after new evidence was discovered after the Kauai Police Department worked through Ke Ahi Pio’ole, a prosecutor-directed cold case murder unit.

Since 2013, Galas defense counsel has filed five stipulations of continuance. The case has also seen two offices of the prosecuting attorneys.

Green has until Nov. 23 to file the motion to change venues.

Galas will appear in court Dec. 7. The court is expected to determine where his trial will be held at that time.

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