And then voila, first thing this morning, just in time for the Sunday paper, the county web site posts a news release: KPD arrested Darren Galas for the murder of his estranged wife, Sandra — as in never forget Sandy G.
Imagine that. A six-year-old, high-profile murder suddenly solved by Shay's "cold case unit," just as people are going to the polls. The timing, as one observer noted, was “ really stunningly serendipitous.”
The timing isn't the only thing that's kinky. The grand jury, the place where murder cases are typically taken up, convened Thursday, and came back for an unprecedented second session on Friday. But it did not return an indictment against Galas.
Instead, Galas was brought in Friday on an arrest warrant. It's much easier to get an arrest warrant, because all that's required is an affidavit from the investigator. An indictment needs live witnesses, and the consensus of at least eight grand jurors. It speaks to a much stronger case.
When a grand jury doesn't return an indictment on the first go-round, prosecutors usually work to improve the case and take it back a second time. There's certainly no need to rush it when the case is six years old and the suspect lives in Kalaheo.
Unless you're trying to use a woman's murder to advance your political prospects, and the grand jury won't convene again until after the election.
By pushing forward, Shay has potentially undermined the case and handed the defense a huge argument — that the timing was a political decision designed to promote her political prospects.
Gee, I wonder how Judge Trudy Senda, currently on vacation, will feel about having this little pile laid in her courtroom next week, with an arraignment required within 48 hours of Galas' arrest, and a preliminary hearing 48 hours after that.
This entire affair brought back memories of an August 17 post:
Amazing, how the cops made those North Shore burglary arrests just in time for the Princeville “public safety” meeting, which drew the biggest crowd yet. Actually, the arrests were made last week and last month, but they weren't announced until the night before the meeting. Wonder what they've got saved up for the Kapaa meeting, seeing as how a date has not yet been set. An arrest in the Amber Jackson murder?
So transparent, these guys.
But you'll be pleased to know that, according to an email from Chief Perry, "we (meaning KPD and OPA) are actively working on others that are still unsolved."
Shay, no surprise, did not respond to a request for comment.