Preliminary hearing set in Hilo carjacking case


A 28-year-old Mountain View woman accused of a daylight carjacking Friday in downtown Hilo pleaded not guilty Tuesday to first-degree robbery and second-degree theft charges.

Hilo District Judge Harry Freitas set a preliminary hearing for 2 p.m. Thursday for Ashley Leialoha Hamada, who appeared in custody in lieu of $60,000 bail.

Hamada’s court-appointed attorney, Stanton Oshiro, asked the judge to release his client into the supervision of her mother, who was present in the courtroom.

“Ms. Hamada does have a plan,” Oshiro said. “She wants to go into (drug) treatment immediately. She wants to be assessed. … Accordingly, we would ask that she be placed on supervised release.”

Deputy Prosecutor Patricia Loo asked the judge to maintain Hamada’s bail.

“Ms. Hamada is being held in a probation revocation case in (Hilo Circuit) Judge (Glenn) Hara’s court. … The revocation hearing is set for Sept. 16 …,” Loo said.

The probation revocation is for a March 2012 conviction for credit card theft. Hamada was sentenced to five years probation and a year in jail. The jail sentence was suspended and she was granted a five-year deferral of her guilty plea, meaning the conviction would be expunged from her record if she stayed out of trouble with the law during her probation.

Oshiro told the judge Hamada informed her she intends to hire attorney Ivan Van Leer, who represents her in the probation violation case, to also defend her in this case.

According to court documents filed by police, Hamada allegedly approached the victim, identified as 22-year-old Landon Salvador of Mililani, Oahu, at 4:35 p.m. Friday after he pulled into a parking stall on Kamehameha Avenue in downtown Hilo and asked him for a ride.

After Salvador refused, Hamada allegedly brandished a 2-inch knife and demanded a ride. She then reportedly ran around to the driver’s side of the car, started the car, reversed out of the stall then drove away north on Kamehameha Avenue.

Documents state Salvador was uninjured.

Hamada was reportedly pulled over in a traffic stop at Umauma Bridge at the 16-mile marker on Hawaii Belt Road (Highway 19). Documents state she was alone in the car, a 1998 brown Toyota Corolla registered to Salvador.

Email John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitribune-herald.com.