Bail rises to $500K in fatal DUI case
By Jim Dooley
Advertiser Staff Writer
A state judge yesterday increased the bail of three-time drunken driver Siaosi Feleunga to $500,000 to make sure he appears for trial on a charge of killing motorcyclist Lindsey Kane in a 2008 collision.
Deputy Prosecutor Franklin Pacarro Jr. called Feleunga, 32, a flight risk and a danger to the community who has repeatedly failed to appear in court in past cases.
When Feleunga allegedly crashed his truck into Kane's motorcycle on Dec. 29, 2008, two bench warrants for Feleunga's arrest had been outstanding for more than two years.
"He doesn't do what the court orders him to do," Pacarro told Circuit Judge Karen Ahn yesterday. "He's a danger to the community because he killed someone."
Feleunga is from Tonga, and if he manages to flee there, "we have no extradition treaty" with that country, Pacarro said.
"If he bails out, if he leaves, we have no way of bringing him back," Pacarro said.
In November, Feleunga was due to enter a guilty plea to charges of negligent homicide and driving with a suspended license for a previous DUI conviction.
But he balked at entering the plea and said he was unhappy with the services of his defense lawyer.
His new lawyer, Shawn Luiz, protested Pacarro's request to deny Feleunga bail, saying there was no proof that he had ever fled the state to avoid a court appearance.
Ahn agreed that "no bail is an extreme measure."
But she said it "would be appropriate and reasonable" to raise bail to $500,000.