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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, February 4, 2010

Driver indicted for manslaughter in Nanakuli drive-through death

By Jim Dooley
Advertiser Staff Writer

Albert Birmingham was intoxicated when his car ran over and killed Raelynn Aloha Adams on Jan. 31, a prosecutor alleged after Birmingham was indicted today for manslaughter and other crimes.

Birmingham, 36, was originally arrested on suspicion of first-degree attempted
murder, second-degree murder and second-degree attempted murder, among other charges.
He was later charged with negligent homicide but the grand jury increased the offense to manslaughter, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
Birmingham was also indicted on charges of leaving the scene of an accident involving death or serious bodily injury, drunk driving and operating a vehicle while his license was suspended or revoked.
He is being held in lieu of $150,000 bail.
Birmingham was previously convicted of one drunk-driving charge and was wanted for arrest in another DUI case when he allegedly killed Adams, 20, in the drive-through lane of McDonald’s Restaurant in Nanakuli.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Victoria Kapp said when the indictment was returned late this morning that Birmingham’s blood alcohol level was .132 -- well above the legal limit of .08 -- when he ran over Adams.
“The suspect was intoxicated at the time of the incident and fled the scene,” Kapp told Circuit Judge Richard Perkins.
After driving away from McDonald’s, Kapp said, Birmingham “took off the magnetic signs on his SUV to conceal the identity of the vehicle when the police were searching the area,” Kapp said.
Birmingham was convicted of drunk driving and criminal property damage, a felony, in 2003. He was charged with two more drunk-driving offenses between 2003 and 2008, but those charges were later dismissed, according to court records.
In November 2008, he was charged in another drunk-driving case but failed to appear at a court hearing in March 2009.
A bench warrant for his arrest in that case had been outstanding since June 2009. That warrant was served on Birmingham when police arrested him in the aftermath of Adams’ death.
Witnesses told police that Birmingham was honking his SUV’s horn at a vehicle carrying Adams and others which was in front of Birmingham in the drive-through lane at McDonald's.
Adams and a 15-year-old girl left their car after Adams' boyfriend became involved in a confrontation with Birmingham, police said.
Birmingham's car allegedly accelerated and struck Adams and the girl, according to police reports.
Adams was run over by the front and rear tires of the SUV, according to Kapp.