(BIVN) – 52-year-old Christopher Roy Howlind has been charged with murder, police say, following the violent slaying of his mother-in-law, 58-year-old Teri Lynn Apple, one week ago in Puna.
Apple was found dead in an Orchidland Estates subdivision home on Friday afternoon, April 28. Howlind was found at then scene, next to a bloodied sword and in need of medical attention.
Howlind spent nearly a week at Hilo Medical Center before he was released, taken into police custody, and transported to the Hilo Police Station.
From Hawaiʻi Police:
On Thursday, May 4, 2023, at 1:40 p.m., upon being released from the Hilo Medical Center, Howlind was taken into custody, and transported to the Hilo Police Station.
At 3:15 p.m. Thursday, upon conferring with the County Prosecutors Office, Area I Criminal Investigation Section detectives charged Howlind with second-degree murder. His bail is set at $1 million.
The charge against Howlind stems from an incident reported shortly after 2:30 p.m. Friday, April 28, when Puna patrol officers responded to an unknown-type disturbance at a residence on 38th Avenue in Orchidland Estates.
Responding officers immediately located a man, later identified as Howlind, appearing in need of medical assistance. He had visible injuries to his hands, and his clothes were bloodied. Officers observed a large sword covered in blood next to Howlind. Officers immediately summoned medical assistance for him.
While officers were awaiting the ambulance, they located the victim’s lifeless body with severe knife wounds to her neck, upper body, arms and hands. Howlind was then arrested for murder.
While Howlind was being transported to the Hilo cellblock, he began vomiting and became unresponsive. He was immediately taken to the Hilo Medical Center Emergency Room, and later admitted. It is believed he ingested some type of chemical liquid prior to police arriving on scene.
Detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigation Section responded to the scene to continue this investigation.
An autopsy was completed on Tuesday morning, May 2, 2023, and the forensic pathologist ruled that Apple died as a result of multiple chop wounds and sharp-forced injuries, and ruled the manner of death homicide.
Due to Howlind’s medical condition following the initial arrest, he was released from police custody on Sunday, April 30. Detectives then obtained an arrest warrant, so that upon his condition improving and subsequent release from the hospital, Howlind could again be taken into police custody.
Police ask anyone who may have information related to this incident to contact the police department’s non-emergency number at (808) 935-3311, or Detective Clarence Davies of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section, at (808) 961-2382 or email him at Clarence.Davies@hawaiicounty.gov.
The Hawaiʻi County Office of the Prosecuting Attorney also announced the charges in a later news release. From the Prosecuting Attorney:
Prosecuting Attorney Kelden Waltjen announced that a Kurstistown man, 52 year-old Christopher Howlind, was charged in relation to the murder of his mother-in-law, 58 year-old Teri Apple, which took place at a residence in the Orchidland Estates subdivision on April 28, 2023.
Howlind is scheduled to make his initial appearance in Hilo District Court on Friday afternoon. He remains in custody in lieu of $1,000,000.00 bail.
As the Complaint alleges, Howlind was charged with Murder in the Second Degree (“intentionally or knowingly cause the death of another person”). Murder in the Second Degree carries a sentence of life imprisonment with the possibility of parole.
The charges are merely allegations, and the Defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The case was initiated by Puna Patrol and the felony investigation was led by Detective Clarence Davies, Area I Criminal Investigation Section, with assistance from Evidence Specialist Kristen Bailey, and members of the Area I Special Enforcement Unit and Criminal Investigation Section, Hawai‘i Police Department.
The Office of the Prosecuting Attorney remains dedicated to the pursuit of justice with integrity and commitment. Anyone having information to assist local law enforcement should call Crime Stoppers at (808) 961-8300.