LIHUE — The man believed to cause the wreck that killed Kayla Huddy-Lemn was arraigned on a manslaughter charge Monday.
Cody Safadago, 46, appeared before Judge Randall Valenciano on eight additional counts, including negligent homicide in the second degree, accident involving death or serious injury, unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, resisting arrest using physical force, DUI, reckless driving, inattention to driving and driving without a license in connection to an April wreck that took the life a 19-year-old Kapaa resident.
During the proceedings, Sam Jajich, deputy public defender, said Safadago qualified for the public defender services, but there was a conflict of interest.
So Valenciano appointed John Murphy, who is representing Safadago in a separate, but related case, to be his lawyer.
On April 27, just before 11 p.m., Huddy-Lemn was heading north on Kuhio Highway near the Courtyards at Waipouli when an oncoming Nissan pickup truck crossed the center line and struck her Mazda sedan, according to the Kauai Police Department.
The driver of the Nissan, later identified as Safadago left the scene and was found near the Wailua Shopping Plaza. He was arrested a day later.
Safadago, who is believed to live in the Kalalau Valley, is also believed to have stolen the Nissan from a home Makaha Road in Kapaa, minutes before the wreck.
According to testimony from Shawn Hanna, traffic investigator for KPD, Safadago was driving 88 mph in a 35 mph zone and had a blood alcohol content of .248, about three times over the legal limit.
He was originally charged on eight counts, but he was indicted by a grand jury last week on ninth manslaughter count.The indictment alleges that on the night of April 27, Safadago committed the offense of manslaughter by recklessly causing the death of Huddy-Lemn, according to a release from KPD.
He faces a life sentence on that charge.
Safadago is scheduled to appear before Circuit Court Judge Michael Soong on Thursday on the original eight counts for a preliminary hearing, where Hanna and two other witnesses are expected to testify.
In another case, Safadago is facing theft and misdemeanor shoplifting charges stemming from a January arrest where police say he stole Kahelelani bracelets worth more than $750 from Havaiki Oceanic and Tribal Art.
His trial in that case is set for Oct. 21, and he faces a maximum sentence of 11 years in prison.
On Monday, Valenciano set Safadago’s trial on the manslaughter and other charges for Sept. 11.
Safadago remains in custody on a $1 million bail.