LIHU’E — A Kaua‘i man was deemed a “danger to the community” by Chief Judge Randal Valenciano during his arraignment and bail hearing in Fifth Circuit Court on Thursday, Oct. 26, for two cases charging him with first-degree terroristic threatening — one with a machete and the other with a compound bow and arrow.
Bronson Howard appeared in court alongside Renee Arndt, his court-appointed attorney, who said Howard was seeking to represent himself.
“He has asked me to make jurisdictional arguments that our office does not make,” she said. “He would actually like to represent himself in these matters, with the hope of having some standby counsel.”
Howard stated he wanted to see “all seven elements of jurisdiction from the prosecution” before he entered a plea. “And I have an unsigned plea of not guilty,” he added.
Valenciano stated they would do the arraignment, and that a written motion from Arndt would be required for her to withdraw as his public defender.
Valenciano waived the public reading of the indictment for both cases, but court records say the incidents occurred on Sept. 25 and Oct. 16.
According to the indictment for the first case, Howard allegedly threatened Darin Depasquale and/or Richard Dunning with “machetes or large knives” on Sept. 25. He was charged with one count of terroristic threatening in the first degree for that incident.
A similar incident appeared to have occurred on Oct. 16, when Howard allegedly threatened two people, Eugene Miller and Lloyd Chow, with a compound bow and arrow. He was charged with two counts of terroristic threatening in the first degree.
The cases, both filed on Oct. 18, state Howard intentionally threatened to cause bodily injury by word or conduct. No further details about the incidents were stated in the document, but Howard did not know the people he threatened, according to Valenciano.
“From the representations made to the court, the complaining witnesses were basically random people in the community in both instances,” Valenciano said.
Since Howard was allegedly “creating danger for random people in the community using dangerous instruments or weapons,” Valenciano denied him bail in both cases.
“The allegations led the court at that time to make a finding that Mr. Howard was a danger to the community,” said Valenciano.
Howard told Valenciano that he was “going off statements, not going off of facts” in his decision.
“I would recommend you not say anything, Mr. Howard, because we are recording,” replied Valenciano.
Terroristic threatening in the first degree is a Class C felony, with each count being punishable by a maximum five-year prison sentence and $10,000 in fines.
The jury trial for the case involving a machete was set for Feb. 5 at 8 a.m., and a pretrial was set for Jan. 11 at 2:30 p.m.
For the case involving the bow and arrow, the trial was set for Feb. 20 at 8 a.m. and a pretrial was set for Jan. 25 at 2:30 p.m.
After Howard left the courtroom, Valenciano made a note that Howard was glaring at him.
“Courtroom security is an issue,” he said.
“We’ll take steps to increase security the next time Mr. Howard appears,” he added, before moving on to another case.
In 2016, The Garden Island reported that Howard was sentenced to 24 days in jail for an incident surrounding him and accomplice Noah Jeriamiah Elija Smazik entering a fenced property and killing a 400-pound pet pig.
In that case, Howard was found guilty of second-degree criminal trespass. but was acquitted on charges of animal cruelty and criminal property damage.
Emma Grunwald, reporter, can be reached at 808-652-0638 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: The Garden Island