Not guilty plea in death of 3-year-old


A 38-year-old man recently pleaded not guilty to manslaughter and a slew of other charges stemming from a Jan. 9 Kalaoa accident in which police say he ran over his 3-year-old son.

Pedro Johanes Peter pleaded not guilty Feb. 21 to manslaughter, driving without a license, failure to have no-fault motor vehicle insurance, four counts of failure to have a child restraint and three counts of second-degree endangering the welfare of a minor in connection with the accident, according to 3rd Circuit Court Records. 3rd Circuit Court Chief Judge Ronald Ibarra set his jury trial for June 18 and maintained Peter’s bail at $52,100.

Peter was indicted by a Big Island grand jury on Jan. 29 on the same nine charges, according to court records.

The child, Joel Peter, died at 6:43 p.m. Jan. 9 after he was apparently run over by a pickup truck driven by Pedro Peter, near the Matsuyama Food Mart driveway off Mamalahoa Highway, according to the Hawaii Police Department. The father unknowingly struck the youngster who had fallen out of the truck’s cab after the boy’s sister had apparently opened the rear passenger door, police said.

Pedro Peter then drove his son to Kona Community Hospital, which was the first entity to contact emergency officials about the incident, according to police. No others were injured.