Celestial Dove Cassman
(1976 - 2011)

Profile:
Celestial Dove Cassman

Birth:
June 15, 1976

Passing:
September 1, 2011


Timeline
Celestial Summer Dove was born on June 15, 1976 into the loving arms of her parents in Nanakuli, Hawaii. She spent her formative years growing up in Lake County, CA. She graduated from Clear Lake High School in 1994 and attended UC Santa Cruz, graduating with honors in political science. She took some time to travel after college, exploring a large portion of South America and then moved to Portland, Oregon where she worked for a nonprofit affordable housing and community building organization. She decided to become an attorney, studied hard to take entrance exams, and then selected the UC Davis law school. During law school, Celestial completed a public interest fellowship where she assisted indigent clients with housing, benefits, and employment issues. She also worked as a teaching assistant, and served as co-chair of a nonprofit legal foundation. She graduated in the top 5% of her class and began her professional career at McDonough Holland & Allen law firm in Sacramento in 2004. She ultimately followed her dream to be near the coast and moved to Santa Cruz in 2007.

Until her tragic and untimely death, Celestial enjoyed life and her career in Public Law, working for the law firm Atchison, Barisone, Condotti and Kovacevich, as Deputy City Attorney for the coastal cities of Santa Cruz, Capitola and Half Moon Bay, California.
June 7, 2012

To Family and Friends of Celestial Summer Dove Cassman:

Recently, the Maui District Attorney contacted us to recommend a plea offer with Galaway. Under the proposal, Galaway would face a maximum sentence of 40 years and would give up his right to take an appeal. After extensive discussion among the family and with the District Attorney, we agreed to the proposal. We are comfortable with the advice we have received from the District Attorney and are convinced that, given all of the circumstances as explained to us, the guilty plea is the surest means of putting Galaway away for the longest period of time.

We must remain involved in the legal process to help ensure that result. We anticipate that Galaway will be sentenced by the court on September 11, 2012. We will be present. You may also attend. Even more importantly, we encourage all who loved and cared for Celestial to write letters to the court describing what she meant to you, how she affected your life and the lives of others, and what her loss has meant. The judge will read every letter, and they will help ensure that Galaway receives the longest possible sentence.

Within six months after sentencing, the Hawaii Parole Authority will hold a hearing to determine the minimum sentence that Galaway will serve. (Note that this process would have been exactly the same if Galaway had been convicted after a trial.) We expect the minimum term will be at least 30 years. You may submit letters to the Parole Authority as well. Again, the Parole Authority will read them all, and they will make a difference.

Finally, we want thank all of you for your love and support over the difficult months since Celestial was so brutally taken from us. Words cannot convey how much it has meant to us and how comforting it is know that Celestial touched so many lives.

Thank you all,

Deborah Bevington
Ken Cassman

PS -- We will post the addresses to which letters should be sent here on this website as well as the dates for upcoming court and parole proceedings. Please contact Celestial’s uncle, Ted Cassman, if you have any questions about the process, wish to discuss the content of your letter, etc. Ted may be reached at (510) 845-3000. His email is cassman@achlaw.com.

Update Regarding Galaway’s Sentencing
Dear Family and Friends –
As promised, here is a status report.
I. The Sentencing Hearing
As you know, Galaway is scheduled to be sentenced on Tuesday, September 11, 2012 in the Maui Circuit by Judge Joseph Cardoza. In court cases, the schedule is never an absolute certainty, so it is possible that the date will change. However, Judge Cardoza is aware that Celestial’s friends and family will be traveling from the mainland and has committed to do everything possible to maintain that date. So we are proceeding on the assumption that Galaway will be sentenced on the 11th, and we urge everyone who wishes to make plans to attend the hearing.
II. Letters to the Judge
In addition to being present in court, you can participate in Galaway’s sentencing by writing a letter to Judge Cardoza. Letters from the victims’ friends and family members help the judge to understand the context, egregiousness and impact of the crime. Such letters constitute a normal part of the sentencing procedure. I know from experience that the number and quality of letters frequently have a tremendous impact on the outcome of a case.
Judge Cardoza did not know Celestial. It is up to those of us who loved her to paint the whole picture for him -- including most especially the beautiful spirit that she was and the profound loss that her senseless death means to us and to the community at large. I am informed that Judge Cardoza is a careful jurist who will read and consider every letter submitted to him. So please, if you have the time, write one.
For those of you who have never contemplated writing such a letter (likely, that includes most of us), I have some thoughts and suggestions.
• First, relax. This is not a test and there are no wrong answers. Whatever you write will be helpful to the judge, and he will read it.
• Second, try to speak to the judge as though he were a friend who didn’t know Celestial but with whom you want to share your feelings of loss, anger, sadness, etc.
• Third, remember that the judge is starting this process with somewhat of a blank slate and that it is our job to provide context. It is a good idea to start your letter with two or three sentences introducing yourself and describing your relationship to Celestial.
• Fourth, there is no formula. Every letter can and should be as distinct and unique as each of the authors. While there is no correct length, it is better not to overwhelm the judge with unnecessary verbiage and details. Try to select important information that you think will help the judge to know Celestial and to understand what her loss means.
III. Letters Deadline
Letters should be received by the Court no later than August 1st. This way they will be available to the probation officer who prepares a report for the judge and makes a sentencing recommendation. Letters received after that date will be presented to the prosecutor and Judge Cardoza, but will not be considered by the probation officer. Letters should be sent by September 1st, at the latest.


IV. How to Address your Letter
Letters should be addressed to:
The Honorable Joseph E. Cardoza
Hoapili Hale Court Building
2145 Main Street
Wailuku, Hawaii

Letters should commence “Dear Judge Cardoza.”
V. A Letter Template
Here is an outline that may help you to collect and organize your thoughts:
1. Introduction
A. Who are you?
B. How did you know Celestial? How long?
C. What was the nature of your relationship?
2. Who was Celestial?
A. What made her special and unique?
B. Why did you love her?
C. What did her friendship mean to you?
D. Anecdotes are helpful.
3. What and how did Celestial give to others?
A. Was she involved in her community?
B. How did she give back?
C. Anecdotes are helpful.
4. Conclusion
A. Describe the depth of the loss that you feel.
1. Permanent, forever, etc.
2. Senseless, horrific, etc.
B. Urge the judge to impose an appropriate (maximum?) sentence.


VI. Statements Regarding Galaway
For those of you who knew Galaway, you may also wish to provide the judge with insights you have concerning Galaway’s character and relationship with Celestial. This is entirely appropriate. It is likely that Galaway’s friends and family will write letters to the judge trying to portray him in a sympathetic and positive light. You may have some observations to share that tend to show otherwise. Is he honest, trustworthy, kind,
generous, gentle, considerate, threatening, violent, deceitful or scary? Or not? Is he the sort of person who deserves leniency and a second chance? Or not?
Don’t worry too much about sounding biased. We’re allowed to be. On the other hand, extreme and hateful language may tend to detract from other important points that you make in your letter.
VII. Draft Letters
Please feel free to send me a draft of your letter if you would like to have some feedback. Send it to me at: cassman@achlaw.com.
VIII. Delivering Your Letter
When your letter is completed and signed, you may send it to me (by email, fax or snail mail) and I will forward it to the court. My fax number is (510) 845-3003. My address is:
Ted Cassman
Arguedas, Cassman & Headley, LLP
803 Hearst Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94710

Alternatively, you may send your letter directly to Paula Heiskell, at the Maui Victim Witness Assistance Program. Her email address is: Paula.heiskell@mauicounty.gov. Her fax number is: (808) 242-0922. Her mailing address is:
Paula Ann Heiskell, M.S.W., L.S.W.
Victim/Witness Counselor
150 South High Street
Wailuku, HI 96793

Ms. Heiskell will make sure that your letter reaches the prosecutor, probation and Judge Cardoza. If you have any questions, you may call Paula at (808) 270-7695.
IX. A copy to Ted
If you send your letter directly to Ms. Heiskell, please send a copy to me so that the family will have a record of everything that was submitted to Judge Cardoza and can thank you for your time, effort, and caring.

Candles

"BEAUTIFUL DOVE! YOU WILL ALWAYS BE "DOVEY," TO ME! THE LITTLE GIRL WHO WAS AS SWEET AS YOU WERE BEAUTIFUL...HEAVEN CALLED YOU HOME TO SOON, BUT IN OUR HEARTS YOU WILL ALWAYS BE WITH US!"
VALORIE BRITTON
June 15th, 2012
""To live in hearts we leave behind Is not to die." Dovie, you touched the lives of everyone you met, and you will always be in our hearts."
Marilyn Law
September 23rd, 2011
"Always in my heart, never forgotten!"
Ronnie Hartong
September 21st, 2011
"Great meeting you, Dove. My sincerest condolences to your family. Death leaves a pain that can never heal but love leaves a memory that no one can steal. YOU WERE LOVED!"
Robin Clarke
September 16th, 2011
"May your soul find peace. May you look down from above and bring healing and love to those who will be missing you like crazy."
S. Gibbs
September 15th, 2011

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