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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Manslaughter suspect allowed to remain free

Advertiser Staff

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Manslaughter suspect Albert Birming­ham appeared in court yesterday with his public defender, Lee Hayakawa.

BRUCE ASATO | The Honolulu Advertiser

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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Raelynn Aloha Adams

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A man facing trial on manslaughter charges in the Jan. 31 death of a woman who was run over in the drive-through lane of the McDonald's in Nānākuli remains free on $150,000 bail after a hearing in state court yesterday.

But Circuit Judge Karen Ahn told Albert Birmingham, 36, that if he gets so much as a traffic ticket between now and the start of his trial, she would reconsider a prosecution request to have him held without bail.

Deputy prosecutor Franklin Pacarro sought to have Birmingham's bail revoked, saying he posed a flight risk and a danger to the community.

Pacarro said Birmingham was convicted in 2004 of criminal property damage and driving under the influence after being clocked speeding along the Wai'anae Coast at more than 100 mph. After police arrested him, Birmingham kicked out the passenger-side window of a police car, injuring two officers, Pacarro said.

He also failed to appear at a 2009 court hearing to answer to charges of driving under the influence and failure to have insurance.

In the January manslaughter case, witnesses told police Birmingham was honking his SUV's horn at the vehicle in front of him in the McDonald's drive-through lane when a man got out to confront him. Birmingham allegedly accelerated and struck the man's girlfriend, Raelynn Aloha Adams, 20, and a 15-year-old girl who had also left the vehicle.

Adams was run over by the front and rear tires of the SUV, according to police.

Pacarro yesterday told Ahn said that Birmingham's criminal record shows "a reckless state of mind" and that "when he drinks, he does whatever he wants."

Birmingham's lawyer, deputy public defender Lee Hayakawa, told the judge that the defendant "knows he has an alcohol problem," is attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, and has "absolutely stayed off the road" since his release on bail Feb. 12.

Hayakawa asked that Birmingham be placed on supervised release without bail or that bail be reduced to $50,000.

Ahn continued the defendant's bail at $150,000 and ordered him to submit to an alcohol and drug assessment within seven days, attend all court hearings and to not leave O'ahu. Birmingham also must stay at home from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., not drive and avoid alcohol and drugs.