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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Friday, November 15, 2002

Trial starts in H-2 drug-related death

By David Waite
Advertiser Staff Writer

The first trial on O'ahu of a man accused of manslaughter for causing a traffic death while driving under the influence of drugs began yesterday in Circuit Court.

Danny Gormon, 38, was charged with the death of Jasey Delos Reyes, 11, of Kalihi, who was thrown from Gormon's car after it overturned on H-2 Freeway near Waipio Gentry on Oct. 8, 2000.

In his opening remarks in the jury-waived trial before Circuit Judge Victoria Marks, city Deputy Prosecutor Keith Seto said Gormon was traveling south on H-2, weaving in and out of traffic on a wet roadway at between 90 and 100 mph when he lost control of his car.

Gormon had crystal methamphetamine and Valium in his system at the time of the accident, Seto said.

But state Deputy Public Defender Walter Rodby said Gormon was suffering from chronic back pain and made a mistake by smoking the methamphetamine the morning of the accident in an attempt to deal with the pain.

He said Gormon should be found guilty of negligent homicide at the most, and not manslaughter, which requires showing that a defendant knew of the dangers inherent in his behavior but made a conscious decision to disregard them.