By Wendy Osher
A man accused of murder in the death of a California woman on Maui earlier this month entered not-guilty pleas in 2nd Circuit Court on Maui today.
Gerald W. Galaway Jr., 38, of Santa Cruz, California, pleaded not-guilty to the charges included in the grand jury indictment of second-degree murder, attempted first-degree sexual assault, and kidnapping.
The charges stem from a September 1, 2011 homicide investigation in the remote Nakalele Point area of West Maui.
Officers responding to a report of domestic violence recovered the body of Celestial Cassman, a 35-year-old woman who worked as a deputy city attorney in Santa Cruz.
An autopsy report revealed that the cause of Cassman’s death was asphyxiation, according to Maui Police Lt. Wayne Ibarra.
According to police records, the two arrived on Maui on August 31, and checked into a hotel in Ka’anapali.
Galaway was airlifted from Nakalele on September 2, after he allegedly fled from police hours earlier and jumped off a 100-foot cliff, according to police reports.
The defendant was escorted into court today with plain clothes and a body brace for injuries he reportedly suffered during the ordeal.
Second Circuit Court Judge Joseph E. Cardoza ordered a pre-trial conference be set for November 2, and a jury trial be set for December 5, 2011.
Defense attorney William Sloper said he is not asking for a bail study or bail hearing in the case. Galaway will continue to be held on the no-bail grand jury warrant.
Because of the felony charges, Galaway is prohibited from owning, possessing, or having under his control any firearms or firearm ammunition.
After being discharged from the Maui Memorial Medical Center yesterday, he was placed under arrest and held at the Wailuku Police cell block.