Pittsburgh man accused of strangling MBA classmates in Hawaii trip rental

HONOLULU (AP) – A Pittsburgh tourist has been charged with manslaughter after a fatal fight in a vacation rental in Hawaii, police said.

A second arrested Boston tourist was released without charge, Big Island police said Wednesday.

Police were called to a vacation rental in Kailua-Kona early Monday where a 30-year-old man was not breathing.

An autopsy revealed that Abhishek Gupta, from Pittsburgh, was strangled, police said.

A preliminary investigation revealed that an argument between the men was physical, police said.

Benjamin Fleming (37) from Pittsburgh and Alexander Germany-Wald (31) from Boston were arrested. Fleming was later charged while Germany-Wald was released after police spoke to prosecutors.

The LinkedIn profiles for Gupta and Fleming showed that they both graduated from Carnegie Mellon University’s Business School in 2020. It wasn’t clear if the men knew each other before the fight in Hawaii. Fleming’s profile states that he has been doing an internship with a space professional association in St. Petersburg, Florida, since June. Gupta’s profile said he was a senior consultant in Pittsburgh.

Carnegie Mellon featured Fleming in November as an example of how the school is helping seasoned students – since Fleming served 18 years in the Army – but the article has been removed from their website.

A judge on Wednesday denied a motion from Fleming’s attorney to release him or lower his bail. Fleming has a plane ticket to return to Pennsylvania on Sunday and pandemic travel restrictions make it impossible for him to return to court hearings, the judge said, keeping his bail at $ 250,000.

Defense attorney Christopher Eggert also asked for Fleming’s preliminary hearing to be postponed until next week, noting that his client has no criminal history.

A man who answered a phone number for Germany-Wald declined to comment. ___

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