HONOLULU – A 19-year-old student accused of the killing of seabirds on Hawaii’s nature reserve pleaded not guilty Tuesday to animal cruelty.
Defendant Christian Gutierrez did not speak to reporters as he and his lawyer left a Honolulu courthouse after the brief arraignment.
He turned to the Hawaii Department of Public Safety last week and was released on $25,000 bail. He made arrangements with the officers of justice are about to give up while he was home in Honolulu for the winter break from school, his lawyer, Myles Breiner said.
According to the police, he attends New York University.
The Ministry of Land and Natural Resources, began the investigation after three as it turned out dolphins were found dead last year in Kaena Point Natural Area Reserve. There were also 15 destroyed nests with each other, dead or missing eggs, the department said.
As it turned out the albatross is a federally protected species.
Court documents charging Gutierrez with 14 counts of animal cruelty and other charges say that the crimes were committed, Dec. 27, 2015.
Breiner said last week that his client was camping at Kaena Point with classmates from Punahou School, a prestigious prep school in Honolulu.
“He was there when this happened, but he did not injure birds,” Breiner said. “He did not. He didn’t have to maim or touch the animals, period.”
Breiner said there are two other arrests in connection with the matter that is dealt with in the juvenile court.