BREAKING: Bernard Brown is found guilty in death of Moreira “Mo” Monsalve
August 25, 2022, 2:46 PM HST
* Updated August 26, 8:15 AM
After a day of deliberations, a guilty verdict has been reached in the second degree murder trial of Bernard Brown. The verdict was reached at 2:01 p.m. on Thursday, and was unanimous.
He was on trial for the presumed death of his ex-girlfriend Moreira “Mo” Monsalve, who was last seen on the night of Jan. 12, 2014 at Brown’s ʻĪao Parkside residence. After more than eight years, her body has not been found despite a series of exhaustive searches that included the use of cadaver dogs. Brown had pleaded not guilty to the charges.
In closing arguments on Wednesday, Defense attorney Randall Hironaka called the prosecution’s case a “witch-hunt.” Meanwhile, Deputy Prosecutor Jerry W. Hupp argued that “odd” activity, statements, “mistakes,” and “diversions” by Brown, pointed towards guilt.
The prosecution presented 35 witnesses since the trial started on Aug. 1, and shared data recovered from Monsalve’s cell phone, which was found broken and in pieces at the bottom of a dumpster near Brown’s residence.
Between the evening of Jan. 12 and the early morning hours of Jan. 13, police observed that multiple financial and airline websites were being accessed via browser activity on Monsalve’s phone, including a search for airline tickets with Brown’s name entered as the passenger. The FBI also testified that the phone was in the vicinity of Brown’s residence.
Judge Peter Cahill, who presided over the trial, has set sentencing for Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022.
Brown has been referred to adult client services.
Monsalve was 46 years old at the time of her disappearance, and the mother of three.
Two of her children, Tyson and Alexis Felicilda were among those who testified during the four week trial. Alexis has been outspoken since the start of the investigation, telling us during an earlier interview that she was very selective about what she shared because of the ongoing investigation at the time.
In 2019, when Brown was extradited to Maui following a Grand Jury indictment, police had said that cell phone evidence played a “huge part” in Monsalve’s case, where a body still has not been recovered.