Preliminary hearing continued in Gomes case

  • Walter Gomes III stands with his court-appointed attorney William Reece on Thursday in District Court as his preliminary hearing was continued to April 22. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

KEALAKEKUA — A scheduled preliminary hearing for a Kailua-Kona man charged in connection to a shooting last month was continued to later this month.

On Thursday, Walter Gomes III appeared in Kona District Court with newly appointed attorney William Reece. Reece advised the court his client wished to waive his right to a preliminary hearing within the 48-hour window of his initial appearance and have the proceedings be continued to a later date.

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Gomes, shackled and donned in a white and orange jump suit, respectfully confirmed that was how he wished to move forward, when asked by District Court Judge Margaret Masunaga.

“It’s both of our decisions so we can kinda go over everything,” Gomes stated to the court as he looked over to Reece.

Deputy Prosecutor Sheri Lawson had no objection to the continuance as long as the hearing was held within three weeks.

The hearing was scheduled for April 22.

Gomes appeared in District Court for his initial appearance on Wednesday where he was verbally combative and refused legal counsel.

He’s facing 17 charges that include one count each of first-degree assault, first-degree reckless endangering, speeding 30-79 mph over posted limit, failure to stop after an accident involving damage to a vehicle or property, second-degree reckless endangering, reckless driving, unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle and third-degree promoting a dangerous drug; two counts each of disobedience to police officers, first-degree resisting an order to stop, and first-degree terroristic threatening; and three firearms-related offenses.

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Offenses stem from an incident that occurred on March 20 when a woman showed up at Kona Community Hospital with a gunshot wound to the face. Hawaii Police later encountered Gomes on March 21 where he was involved in three officer-involved shootings – one in Kona by Costco and two in Hawi.

That same day, Gomes evaded capture after disappearing into the North Kohala brush. After an 11-day manhunt, the 41-year-old was found in Captain Cook where he surrendered to authorities without further incident.

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