Maui News

Asphyxiation Cause of Death in Nakalele Murder

September 9, 2011, 12:35 PM HST
* Updated September 9, 5:11 PM
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By Wendy Osher

Celestial S.D. Cassman, 35, of Santa Cruz, California. nakalele murder

Nakelele murder victim Celestial S.D. Cassman. Image obtained from her law firm's website.

***A grand jury indictment was handed down today in a case involving the death of a Santa Cruz woman on Maui.  The defendant, Gerald W. Galaway Jr., is being served with a grand jury warrant. Details are now posted at the following link:

(Posted: 12:35 p.m. 9/9/11)

Maui Police today released information surrounding the cause of death in an ongoing homicide investigation.

Family members of the victim arrived on Maui last night and positively identified the woman as Celestial S.D. Cassman, 35, of Santa Cruz, California.


An autopsy report revealed that the cause of death was asphyxiation, according to Maui Police Lt. Wayne Ibarra.


The manner of death is still being investigated by the Maui Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division.

The male suspect, identified in a judiciary complaint as Gerald W. Galaway Jr., 38, also of  Santa Cruz, California, remains hospitalized today.

A status hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m. today.


The case involves the September 1, 2011 report of a domestic dispute in which responding officers recovered the body of a woman, and took a man into custody after he allegedly fled from police and jumped from a cliff at Nakalele.

Details of this case were published in a previous post at the following LINK.

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