Maui News

Galaway Sentenced to 40 Years in Death of Cassman

October 18, 2013, 9:30 PM HST
* Updated October 18, 9:52 PM
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Gerald W. Galaway Jr. appeared for an arraignment and plea hearing on September 13, 2011.  File photo by Wendy Osher.

Gerald W. Galaway Jr. appeared for an arraignment and plea hearing on September 13, 2011. File photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

A man accused of manslaughter and kidnapping in the death of a California woman on Maui two years ago, has been sentenced to 40 years in prison, the Maui prosecutors’ office confirmed.

Defendant Gerald Galaway Jr. of California pleaded no contest to the reduced charges, which stem from a September 2011 incident in which the body of 35-year-old Celestrial Cassman was found at Nakalele Point following witness accounts of a struggle that had ensued between the two.

An autopsy report revealed that the cause of death was asphyxiation. Galaway was arrested after jumping from a cliff into the ocean in the area.

The 40-year sentence included two 20-year terms to run consecutive to each other for a total of 40 years, said Robert Rivera, first deputy prosecuting attorney.

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“Celestial Cassman’s immediate family, who attended the sentencing hearing, is satisfied with the sentence and wanted to thank the County of Maui for their efforts in seeking justice for Ms. Cassman,” said Rivera.

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Family members will also attend the minimum term hearing before the Hawaiʻi Paroling Authority, in which they will ask that the defendant serve a lengthy minimum, officials said.

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