Maui News

Maui Murder Proceeding Suspended, Mental Health Examination Ordered

March 22, 2018, 9:40 PM HST
* Updated March 23, 5:28 AM
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Proceedings in a Maui murder case involving a machete attack in a mall restroom, have been suspended while a mental health examination is conducted on the suspect.

Kumulipo Sylva via polycom. PC: 3.22.18 by Wendy Osher

Judge Kelsey Kawano granted a motion by the defense to conduct a 704 examination and determination of penal responsibility for the defendant, 23-year-old Kumulipo Sylva.

The court ordered a three-panel examination to be conducted at the Maui Community Correctional Center, and asked that a report be filed with the court by April 26, 2018.

Sylva, who is charged with second degree murder for the March 18, 2018 incident, appeared via polycom video alongside his attorney Ben Lowenthal on Thursday afternoon.

Judge Kelsey Kawano. PC: 3.22.18 Wendy Osher

Judge Kawano also granted a request made by Maui Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Byron Fujieda, asking that Sylva’s original $500,000 bail be revoked and that the defendant be held without bail.

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“Not only is the defendant accused of murder in the second degree of Eduardo Cerezo, but he thought it was a demon,” Fujieda explained to the court in asking for a change of bail status.  “In his interview with the Maui Police Department as well, he also mentioned needing to deal with other demons out there in the community. This raises real concern,” he said, for the safety of the community.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Byron Fujieda (right). PC: 3.22.18Wendy Osher

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“The scary part is that we don’t know what criteria he uses or even how he determines who is a demon and who is not.  Giving him any opportunity to bail is a risk that we can’t take.”

Lowental responded saying that his client was not in a position to post the $500,000 bail that was originally set in the case, calling the chances of that happening “extremely unlikely.”

In granting the prosecution’s request for the defendant to be held without bail, Judge Kawano said the Sylva has been charged with a serious crime and said there is a serious risk when any person poses a danger to any person or the community.

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The next court date has been set for May 3, 2018.

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