LIHUE — A $1 million bail amount for the man accused of pushing a visitor off a cliff was dropped to $100,000 on Tuesday in 5th Circuit Court.
Justin Wynn Klein, 38, of Kilauea, is awaiting sentencing after pleading to reckless endangerment March 18. He originally was charged with attempted second-degree murder.
Judge Kathleen Watanabe granted the reduced bail, despite noting that Klein was considered a high flight risk in the bail study performed by the probation department.
However, she agreed with the defense argument that the constitution guards against excessive bail and that state law also protects against an unreasonable amount.
County First Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Kevin Takata objected to the motion for reduced bail. He said if the court was going to grant a bail reduction that it be set at $100,000 cash only, adding that Klein doesn’t have ties to the island.
The judge denied the cash only order.
The bail reduction was not necessarily so Klein can get out of jail prior to his sentencing hearing June 25, public defender Stephanie Sato said. It would improve his holding status at Kauai Community Correctional Center.
It is not clear exactly what difference it would make for Klein in his pre-or-post sentencing status, Sato added. There are many factors involved in program qualifications that are based on the bail report, including prior criminal history, violent offenses, contempt of court, seriousness of the offense, and the length of a sentence.
Klein has been held at KCC since surrendering to Kauai police at Lydgate Beach Park on April 6, 2013.
Klein pleaded guilty to being involved with the fall of a 31-year-old Japanese visitor off of a 15-foot cliff in the Kalalau Valley on Dec. 16, 2012.
The victim, Azusa “Shita” Ino, from Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan, survived and recovered from her injuries before returning home with her family.