Tuesday | November 21, 2017
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Honomu man offers guilty plea in stabbing death

A Honomu man was expected to be released from jail Friday afternoon after pleading guilty in last summer’s stabbing death of a 30-year-old man he had previously filed a restraining order against.

Daniel Schuster, 50, pleaded guilty Friday afternoon in Hilo District Court to manslaughter in the 2012 death of Joshua Trickel.

Trickel was found in an upstairs hallway of Schuster’s home, lying “face down in … a pool of blood coming from the right side of his abdomen,” on the morning of July 22, 2012, according to a police affidavit. Medics, who found Trickel without a pulse, said he had died at the scene.

Schuster had also suffered an injury to his left forearm, according to police.

Schuster had previously been charged with second-degree murder and had pleaded not guilty, but changed has plea as the result of an agreement with the prosecution. The agreement required that he enter into a supervised release program following his plea Friday. Judge Glenn Hara ordered him to undergo a drug and alcohol abuse treatment program and refrain from possessing drugs or alcohol.

The judge set Schuster’s sentencing hearing for Nov. 5. The sentence could be “a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, and a $50,000 fine,” Hara said.

In changing his plea before the judge, Schuster kept his comments brief, saying only that he “accidentally caused the death of Joshua Trickel.”

Upon serving a search warrant at Schuster’s home, police found “two glass pipes with a white residue inside along with a small clear plastic Ziploc bag with white residue inside.” The document said the residue in the pipes tested positive for methamphetamine.

Schuster filed for a temporary restraining order against Trickel on Sept. 22, 2011, alleging that Trickel had trashed his home in a rage the previous morning, an account corroborated by Trickel’s live-in girlfriend, 34-year-old Sarah McCann, who also filed for a temporary restraining order the same day.

Schuster also alleged Trickel had punched him in the stomach on March 11, 2011, rupturing his spleen and causing liver damage.

Both restraining orders were dissolved Oct. 4, 2011, at the request of Schuster and McCann.

Email Colin M. Stewart at cstewart@hawaiitribune-herald.com.