Deputy City Attorney Killed in Domestic Dispute in Maui

Celestial Cassman, 35, served Santa Cruz, Capitola and Half Moon Bay.

A Santa Cruz woman who worked as a deputy city attorney in Santa Cruz, Capitola and was killed while on vacation in Hawaii, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Celestial Cassman, 35, also served on the board of directors for Court Appointed Special Advocates of Santa Cruz County, a Watsonville-based group that trains adult volunteers to serve as mentors to abused, neglected and abandoned children, the Chronicle reported.

Officers responding to calls about the domestic dispute found Celestial Cassman, 35, unresponsive at Nakalele Point on Maui at about 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Authorities have not said how she died. Her companion, described by some media outlets as her boyfriend, leaped from the cliff, survived the fall and is behind held on suspicion of homicide, according to the Chronicle.

According to information provided to the Clear Lake Record-Bee from Maui News—Cassman graduated from high school in Clear Lake—police identified the man as Gerald Galaway, 38, of Santa Cruz. The Maui News city editor said a judge found there was probable cause to hold Galaway for second-degree murder and kidnapping. Galaway's bail is set at $500,000.

Cassman and Galaway arrived on the island Aug. 31, police told the Maui News. They had been staying together in a room at a Kaanapali resort.

Cassman graduated from UC Davis School of Law and was admitted to the California State Bar in 2004, according to her attorney page on abc-law.com. Prior to law school, she "spent three years working with a nonprofit affordable housing and community building organization in Portland, Oregon."

When news of Cassman's death reached California Tuesday, friends and colleagues mourned her loss.

"She'll be much missed by everyone on the board and on our staff," Ken Goldstein, executive director of CASA, told the San Francisco Chronicle.

Santa Cruz Mayor Ryan Coonerty spoke on behalf of the city.

"She was a really good attorney and a great person," he told the Santa Cruz Sentinel "and had a really wonderful way about her in terms of how she interacted with people. The word is just starting to get out, and people are in shock, and it's heartbreaking."


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