In Brief | Big Island & State | 3-14-14


Man shoots man after argument, kills himself

A man is dead and another hospitalized following what police are calling an attempted murder and suicide in Hawaiian Ocean View Estates.

Police today said the incident happened Wednesday evening on Tiki Lane, near Luau Drive. Police said a 37-year-old man entered his home and a 48-year-old man followed him and shot him. The shooter then left the house and fatally shot himself.

The victim was flown to Kona Community Hospital, then to The Queen’s Medical Center on Oahu, where he is listed in critical but stable condition.

A subsequent investigation showed the men had gotten into an argument prior to the shooting. The shooter and victim did not live together, police said.

The dead man’s name is being withheld pending notification of his family. Detectives from the Area II Criminal investigations section are continuing the investigation.

Quake shakes coast

The U.S. Geological Survey reported a 3.5 magnitude earthquake Thursday afternoon southwest of Kawaihae.

According to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory report, the 1:30 p.m. quake was located about 5 miles southwest of Kawaihae at a depth of about 7 miles.

Missing teen sought

Hawaii island police are searching for a 16-year-old Kona girl who was reported missing.

Shellsea Gouveia-Asuncion was last seen in Kealakekua on Feb.24. She is described as 5 feet 5 inches tall, weighing 100 pounds with brown eyes and short black hair in a Mohawk cut. She has a pierced tongue and wears gauges in both earlobes.

She was last seen wearing baggy black jeans, a black shirt printed with the word “Diamond,” a tan belt and black shoes. Police ask anyone with information on her whereabouts to call the police department’s nonemergency line at 935-3311.

Those who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Surf advisory issued

A high surf advisory is in effect for Hawaii Island’s west-facing shores through 6 a.m. Sunday. National Weather Service forecasters in Honolulu are calling for 5- to 8-foot waves. Forecasters specifically noted the Kona Coast in its advisory.

The surf is expected to peak this evening and Saturday.

The service categorized the surf’s impact as “moderate,” cautioning the public to expect breaking waves and strong longshore and rip currents that can make swimming difficult and dangerous. Beachgoers should heed all advice given by ocean safety officials.

2nd hearing called for high court nominee

HONOLULU — The state Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee is calling a second hearing to address concerns about the governor’s nominee for the Hawaii Supreme Court.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported the Hawaii State Bar Association said it rated Circuit Judge Michael Wilson “unqualified” because of concerns about his work ethic, professionalism and conduct toward women.

Wilson couldn’t be reached for comment.

The Senate Women’s Caucus on Thursday said the Senate should look into the concerns. It wants the judiciary committee to ask Wilson to allow the Senate to review his confidential personnel records.

The committee last week voted to recommend Wilson’s confirmation despite the rating. The second confirmation hearing is scheduled for Saturday.

Saiki to lead state Republican party

HONOLULU — Pat Saiki, one of the most successful Republicans in Hawaii history, is going to lead the state Republican party.

She’s taking over as chairwoman for David Chang. Chang had led the state party since 2011.

Saiki said Thursday her goals for the party are to get back to basics. She said that means recruiting good candidates and winning elections.

As simple as those steps sound, they have eluded Hawaii’s Republicans through most of the state’s history. Saiki was an exception. She served six years in the state House and eight years in the state Senate. She was elected to Congress in 1986 and served two terms there.

Chang said he is resigning to focus on his duties as an officer the Army National Guard and to spend time with family.

Animal lovers want to ban eating pets

HONOLULU — Animal lovers in Hawaii packed a legislative hearing room with poodles and pugs to ask lawmakers to ban the practice of eating cats and dogs in Hawaii.

The House Committee on Agriculture advanced a bill to ban the practice on Thursday.

The Humane Society of the United States said dog slaughter for human consumption is happening across Hawaii. It said it’s hard for law enforcement to catch animal slaughterers. The Oahu Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said dogs and cats are family members, and parents shouldn’t kill or eat their children.

Whale entangled in fishing gear, buoys

HONOLULU — Officials are looking for a humpback whale most recently spotted off Niihau that appears to be caught in fishing gear and is dragging red buoys.

Ed Lyman of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary said Wednesday that fishing line seems to be wrapped across the whale’s body and tail.

He said about 50 to 60 feet of heavy gauge line seems to be trailing behind the animal. Two red plastic buoys are caught in the gear.

Lyman said a Holo Holo Charters tour boat captain and a Niihau Helicopters pilot both saw the whale off Niihau’s north side on Tuesday. The whale was later spotted off Niihau’s leeward coast.

Marine mammal response teams are hoping to find the animal so they can attempt to cut the whale free.

Hawaiian sets start date for Maui-LAX flights

HONOLULU — Hawaiian Airlines is accelerating the start of its new service between Los Angeles and Maui.

The new start date for the flights between Los Angeles and Kahului will be May 2. The airline said the start date is moving up a month in response to strong demand.

Hawaiian will also add a second daily flight for eight weeks during the busy summer travel months, June 30 to Sept. 8.

The airline said the new start date and added flight will add more than 175,000 seats to the Los Angeles and Maui markets this year.

Capital murder trial jury watches mom weep

HONOLULU — The mother of a girl who prosecutors say was beaten to death by her father in Hawaii wept when she looked at a picture of the 5-year-old child.

Tarshia Williams testified Wednesday in the federal capital murder trial against former Hawaii-based soldier Naeem Williams.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported the mother cried briefly in front of the jury after a prosecutor showed her the picture of her daughter Talia.

She said the last time she saw Talia was when the child left South Carolina to live with her father in Hawaii.

She said the last time she spoke to Talia was by telephone on July 2, 2005. Talia died two weeks later.

Former neighbors testified that they heard yelling, profanities and beating sounds coming from the soldier’s home.

Honolulu mulls limits on hotel-to-condo units

HONOLULU — The Honolulu City Council is considering limiting hoteliers from converting hotel rooms to condominium units.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Thursday that the council advanced a bill unanimously that would require hotel owners to get permits if they want to convert 20 percent or more of their rooms to condos.

Members of a group organized by Unite Here Local 5, a union for hotel and health care workers, were rallying in support of the bill Thursday. The union said condo properties employ fewer people.

Industry officials in tourism and real estate said the bill could cost jobs by making development and renovation more risky and less profitable.

The conversions are part of why Hawaii lost 8,000 hotel units statewide over the last decade, including 5,000 in Waikiki.

Passenger killed in crash was from Canada

LIHUE, Kauai — Police are identifying the two men killed when a light sport aircraft crashed on Kauai earlier this week.

Kauai police said Tuesday’s crash killed 54-year-old pilot Gerry Charlebois of Kapahi and 53-year-old Canadian passenger Mark McKenzie of Pickering, Ontario.

They were in a motorized, seated hang glider in a valley below a remote spot high in the mountains of western Kauai. The Federal Aviation Administration said the light sport aircraft crashed on the side of a mountain.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the crash.

The aircraft is registered to Birds in Paradise, a tour company founded by Charlebois. The company markets itself to visiting travelers even though federal regulations prohibit the aircraft from being used for tours or thrill rides.

Guam wife accused of murder-for-hire plot

HAGATNA, Guam — A Guam woman is charged with trying to hire someone to poison her husband.

Myrna Castro Evans was charged Thursday with solicitation to commit aggravated murder.

The Pacific Daily News reported that court documents say Evans offered one of her employees land, cash and a sport utility vehicle in exchange for poisoning her husband.

The documents say that the man agreed but told the husband about the plan. The husband told him to keep pretending to carry out the plan.

When Evans met with the man on March 11, he secretly recorded their conversation. The documents say that when police later confronted her, she asked, “Is my husband OK?”

She’s being held on $250,000 bail. Defense attorney Phillip Torres declined to comment on the allegations but said he’ll be filing a bail reduction motion.

Defense contractor due at plea hearing

HONOLULU — A civilian defense contractor faces a court hearing Thursday on federal charges, accused of giving military secrets to a Chinese girlfriend.

Benjamin Bishop was expected to plead guilty in federal court in Honolulu. His lawyer, Birney Bervar, says Bishop plans to plead guilty to one count of transmitting national defense information to a person not entitled to receive it and one count of unlawfully retaining national defense documents and plans.

The 60-year-old Bishop was arrested nearly one year ago at U.S. Pacific Command headquarters.

Court documents say Bishop emailed his girlfriend classified information on joint training and planning sessions between the United States and South Korea. The documents say Bishop also kept classified documents at home, including one on U.S. force posture in Asia and the Pacific.

By local and wire sources