UPDATE 8/6/15 After several months of numerous hearings, the defendant, Michael Cattaneo, agreed to a plea agreement by stating no contest to two of the numerous charges, with the remainder dismissed. A sentencing hearing is now scheduled for December 4 at 9:00 AM
See Maui News Article
Kula man pleads no contest in fatal crash
August 14, 2015
WAILUKU – A Kula man has pleaded no contest to a first-degree negligent injury charge in the death of a bicyclist who was hit by a pickup truck on Piilani Highway last year.
A Dec. 4 sentencing date was set for Michael Cattaneo, 29, who changed his plea in the 2nd Circuit Court case last week.
Cattaneo was indicted on charges in connection with the fatal crash at 1:12 p.m. April 12, 2014, on Piilani Highway north of Kanani Road. Police said Cattaneo was driving a black 1992 Ford Ranger pickup truck that was heading north on the highway when it drifted into the bicycle lane and struck bicyclist Karl Hagen, who also was traveling north.
Michael Cattaneo pleaded no contest to a first-degree negligent injury charge in the death of bicyclist Karl Hagen.
Hagen, a 62-year-old Wailea resident, died as a result of injuries from the collision, police said.
Hagen, an avid cyclist, had lived on Maui for about three years.
Cattaneo pleaded no contest to the charge alleging he operated a vehicle negligently to cause the death of a vulnerable user, which includes cyclists and pedestrians. Another first-degree negligent homicide charge was dismissed, along with charges of driving under the influence of drugs and not having vehicle insurance.
In a separate case, Cattaneo pleaded no contest to third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug and possessing drug paraphernalia for possessing methamphetamine and paraphernalia including plastic bags and a smoking pipe on Dec. 27. Other charges, including driving under the influence of an intoxicant and operating a motorcycle or motorscooter without proper insurance, were dismissed in exchange for his pleas.
Under the plea agreement, the prosecution can ask that Cattaneo be sentenced to prison, while he can ask to be sentenced to jail and probation.
The negligent homicide charge carries a prison term of up to 10 years.
UPDATE 7/14/15 Next hearing Aug 6 at 1:30 PM. Now indications are, he may have decided to accept the Prosecutor’s agreement
UPDATE 7/2/15 More of the same. Defendant asked judge for new public lawyer, but was denied. Indications are he may choose to refuse any agreement, and go to trial. Next hearing is set for July 13 at 8:30 AM
UPDATE 7/1/15 Once again more delays, with yet another hearing scheduled tomorrow 7/2/15 at 9:00 AM.
UPDATE 6/15/15 Back in court at 8:30 this morning for the latest update, which was a bit disappointing, since is yet another postponement until July 1 at 8:00 AM. This is described as a “change of plea hearing” as opposed to the usual continuance. Having no law degree, we will offer no explanation, but will say the strain continues for the family and friends who endured this tragic loss over a year ago, and now are burdened with the legal process.
5/21/15 UPDATE Once again friends and family of the deceased Karl Hagen were at the courthouse at 8:00 AM this morning in hopes of coming to a conclusion of this very sad event, and while indications are an agreement between the prosecution and defense was close, yet another postponement has scheduled the next hearing for June 12, same time and place. At each hearing Karl’s widow, Robin Hagen, supported by her close friend Marty Sutor, arrive early and sit in the front row awaiting the court proceedings, seeing the driver of the pick up truck which allegedly ran down cycling Karl Hagen in the bicycle lane of the Pi’ilani Hwy just over a year ago.
4/15/15 UPDATE At a second court hearing at 8 AM, a “replacement” public defender seemed to have some incorrect information about other or additional charges, but agreement was reached for another rescheduled pre-trial hearing on 5/8/15. There seems to be a desire for a a agreed settlement rather than going to trial, but we will await definitive information, hopefully at the next hearing
4/1/15 The bicycle community was out in force this morning (4/1/15) at 8:00 AM at the Courthouse for the pre trial hearing for the pickup truck driver accused of striking bicyclist Karl Hagen while he was riding northward in the bike lane of the PI’ilani Hwy causing his death one year ago. The truck driver, Michael Cattaneo has been charged with negligent homicide and driving under influence of drugs.
About 35 concerned guys, including family and personal friends, many identified by large “I’m here for Karl” buttons, and many dressed for cycling, assembled as one in support in the gallery.
The presiding judge allowed the attorneys to approach the bench, outside of public’s hearing, before agreement was reached to schedule the next pre trial in two weeks on 4/15/15 at 8:00 AM.
KCA was there in support of our ongoing policy plea for a safe reasonable effort for a walkable-bikeable community in South Maui. We were privileged to talk story with a number of family, including widow Robin, and several friends after the hearing. We will continue to monitor the process to the best of our ability.
We will also use this tragedy in our plea to the County Council tomorrow (4/2/15) as we did last April, in seeking a safer environment for bicycling in South Maui.