KEALAKEKUA — Originally found unfit to stand trial in a negligent homicide case, Justin Rohan was deemed by a 3rd Circuit Court judge to be a danger to himself and others, and committed him to the Hawaii State Hospital in August.
Judge Melvin Fujino is now is now re-examining the 29-year-old’s fitness for trial and penal responsibility at the time of a fatal car crash more than two years ago. The re-examinations were ordered Nov. 24.
In November 2016, a grand jury indicted Rohan on negligent homicide charges in connection to a fatal two-car collision on Kaiminani Drive in August 2015 that left 52-year-old Kailua-Kona resident Robert Weinstock dead.
On Thursday morning, Rohan appeared via video from the State Hospital in 3rd Circuit Court. Dr. Hawken Shields with the Hawaii Department of Health, who was present in court, requested a continuance because the re-examinations of Rohan had not been yet completed.
During the hearing, an employee from the hospital present with Rohan spoke via video, stating doctors have had the opportunity to re-examine Rohan and believe he’s made progress thus far.
There were no objections from prosecutors or the defense. The court continued the hearing to Feb. 22 to allow for completion of all re-examinations.
Rohan was reportedly driving a green 2007 Ford pickup truck west on Kaiminani Drive when he crossed the center line near Laui Street and crashed head-on into a 2003 Nissan SUV driven Weinstock early Aug. 3, 2015, according to the Hawaii Police Department.
Both drivers were taken to Kona Community Hospital, where Weinstock was pronounced dead at 1:29 a.m.
Rohan’s father, Shane Rohan, was present during Thursday’s hearing. While police reported previously that his son was suspected of drunken driving, he said, that was not the case and his son was never charged with DUI.
“My son was mentally ill,” Shane Rohan said. “He shouldn’t have been driving.”
At the time of the crash, Shane Rohan said he had been caring for his son himself and his son’s medications were fluctuating.
About two months before the crash happened, Shane Rohan had been paying for a caregiver for the past two years to help Justin Rohan in his daily life and medications. Six months before the accident, Shane Rohan started paying Richard Demby as a second caregiver.
He said his son was doing well with the two caregivers, who helped Justin Rohan have a normal life.
However, tragedy struck when Demby drowned at Wawaloli Beach Park (OTEC) in June 2015. Shane Rohan said Demby’s death was hard on his son. He lost not only a caretaker, but a friend.
The night of the crash, Shane Rohan said his son was going to OTEC.
“My hope is that he’s not found mentally responsible for the accident and that he continues to get treatment,” Shane Rohan said.
Despite that, Shane Rohan added Weinstock’s family is the one that’s suffering the most, and his heart goes out to them.
“I feel for the wife and kids,” Shane Rohan said. “It’s horrible to lose your dad, granddad.”
Weinstock was well-known in the community. He was a customer service representative and trainer for United Airlines, who also worked as office manager and actor for Island Breeze Productions. In addition, he was a part of the University of the Nations, Team Extreme, a security coordinator for the Ironman World Championship, participated in the Relay for Life and American Heart Association, and was an Army veteran.