North Kona Information Update for January 31st, 2020

21-year-old Christopher Helmlinger has been sentenced to 8-years in prison for manslaughter in connection with a 3-vehicle collision that killed Fire Captain David Mahon in May 2019.

On Friday morning (January 31st) at the Keauhuolu Courthouse (Kona District Circuit Court), Judge Melvin Fujino sentenced 21-year-old Christopher Raymond Helmlinger to 8-years in prison for manslaughter. Helmlinger changed his plea No Contest to Manslaughter in connection with a 3-vehicle collision that claimed the life of Hawaii Fire Department (HFD) Fire Captain David Mahon in May of 2019. Helmlinger's plea in November 2019, came days before his jury trial was set to begin in December 2019.


The courtroom gallery was filled with family members and friends of the late (HFD) Fire Captain David Mahon and also family members of Helmlinger were also present. A few members of the HIRSC team along with couple members of the media were also present to witness the proceedings.


Members of both Mahon's and Helmlinger's family made statements to Judge Melvin Fujino prior to handing down the sentence to Helmlinger. After hearing statements from both families, Judge Fujino also heard from Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Stephen Frye who said: "David Mahon is dead and it is 100% because of the defendant's actions."


Judge Fujino then address Helmlinger stating "that it was his choice to operate his Honda Pilot SUV in a reckless manner."


Fujino also added: "You (Helmlinger) admitted you were in the wrong lane and passed several cars driving at 70-75 mph because you were late for work. You appeared to have a mission to overtake all cars when there was room for you to get back in your lane. You disregarded the safety of others and yourself. You caused the death of Captain David Mahon. He was only 49-years-old."


Helmlinger is the subject of a 3-vehicle collision that claimed the life of Hawaii Fire Department (HFD) Fire Captain David Mahon back in May of 2019. Helmlinger at the time of the collision was traveling southbound on Highway 190 and overtaking several vehicles in a no-passing zone when he had collided head-on with Mahon, operating a motorcycle heading northbound on Highway 190, just north of Daniel K. Inouye Highway (Saddle Road or Highway 200) intersection. Mahon was on his way to work in East Hawaii at the time of the collision. A white Jeep Grand Cherokee was also involved in the collision. Both Helmlinger and the driver of the Jeep were uninjured.


After hearing the final statements, Judge Fujino handed down the sentence of 8-years in prison for manslaughter. Shortly after the sentence was handed down, Christopher Helmlinger along with family members from both families in the gallery also broke down in emotions.


The minimum prison term that Helmlinger will spend in, will be decided by the Hawaii Paroling Authority at a later date, which was not disclosed.

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