VIDEO: Testimony Presented in Molokai Murder CaseMarch 27, 2013, 6:42 PM HST · Updated March 28, 9:14 AM 0 Comments
By Wendy Osher
A Molokai man accused of second-degree murder in the shooting death of his girlfriend was being held on “no-bail” following a preliminary hearing on Wednesday afternoon, March 27.
Marlin Lavoie, 33, appeared in an orange MCCC jumpsuit at the hearing in which the court ruled there was sufficient evidence to support four counts in the case–the fifth charge was dismissed at the request of the prosecution prior to the receipt of testimony.
The charges against Lavoie stem from his alleged involvement in the shooting death of 24-year-old Malia Kahalewai at the Kawela Barns Apartments on Wednesday, March 20.
Judge Adrianne Heely granted the state prosecutor’s request to hold Lavoie without bail on the first count of second-degree murder, and ordered that the case be moved to Circuit Court with a date set for April 11 at 8:30 a.m.
Deputy Prosecutor Emlyn Higa called a total of three people to the stand to testify on Wednesday including two witnesses, Nicole Aea and Constantino Toledo; as well as a Maui Police detective, Jeffrey Mahoney, who submitted an affidavit in the case.
During the testimony, prosecutors asked Toledo to stand before the court and demonstrate what he saw Lavoie do on the night in question.
Toledo testified that he was five to six feet away from the suspect when he saw Lavoie shoot Kahalewai at what he described as “really close, could be point-blank.” The muzzle, he said, was “right by her chest.” He extended his hands outward, demonstrating how close the suspect was to Kahalewai saying, “she would touch him.”
Toledo’s girlfriend Aea fought back tears as she testified before the court about the shooting, noting that her 3-year-old daughter was also outside when the incident occurred.
Det. Mahoney described the weapon recovered as a Remington rifle with scope and described details of an autopsy on the victim during his testimony.
The attorney for the defense questioned Det. Mahoney on cross examination about Lavoie’s apparent “distraught” state.
The defense also asked for confirmation from the detective of Lavoie’s behavior during a police interview, including claims that Lavoie reportedly “cried” during parts of the interview, indicated to police a history of bi-polar disorder, and mentioning the need for medication so he doesn’t “flip-out.”
In an affidavit filed with the Second Circuit Court, Det. Mahoney said both the suspect and victim had been in a domestic violence incident days earlier, on Saturday, March 16, and had separated.
The document also noted that conversation on the night of the shooting failed to resolve their differences.