Murder suspect prepares for trial

LIHUE — The lawyer for a man accused of killing his wife over a decade ago wants to know how his client’s statements to police were taken.

“There are two statements that will eventually be introduced into trial. I’ve already stipulated to statement No. 1, which is a transcription of a statement. I’m satisfied that statement was voluntary,” said Michael Green.

While he said he doesn’t doubt statements made to the police before a polygraph test were voluntary, Green wants to know how those comments were recorded.

“I need some information about how it was done. There appears to be several pages of handwritten notes that were recorded by the officer that did the questionnaire,” Green said. “I believe what’s in these notes was then recorded onto a police report, so I just need to ask a few questions about that.”

Green represents Darren Galas, who appeared before Judge Kathleen Watanabe Wednesday on one count of second-degree murder in connection to the death of Sandra Galas.

He was in court to continue discussions about whether statements made to police were voluntary.

“It sounds like Mr. Green is saying the second statement he made is voluntary, but he has some questions regarding the manner of it,” said Jennifer Winn, first deputy prosecuting attorney.

On Jan. 25, 2006, Sandra Galas was found strangled to death with a cord-like object and blunt-force trauma to her head in her car, which was parked inside the garage of her Eleele home, according to reports. She was 27.

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

In 2012, Galas was arrested and charged with second-degree murder when 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.

In October, Green filed a motion to change the venue of Galas’ trial, saying the coverage of Galas’ death in the community may impede his client’s chances for having a fair trial. Watanabe denied the motion in December.

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.

On Wednesday, Green and Winn questioned Ezra Kanoho, who was an officer with the Kauai Police Department in 2006. He administered a polygraph test to Galas.

“My normal process is questioning someone about the day before and the day after an incident, just to give a time frame,” Kanoho said.

In going over the notes, Green said he noticed Kanoho did not ask a question, but let Galas describe the events in his life leading up to, and after, Sandra Galas was found dead.

“It sounds to me you were making notes and Galas was talking about what he did during various days of the week,” he said. “There wasn’t a single question about what he did before or after his wife is found.”

Galas’ trial is scheduled for Aug. 28.

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