(BIVN) – A 32-year-old man has been arrested and charged with second-degree attempted murder following a Friday incident at an area known as “Loneliness Tree” off Bayfront Highway in Hilo.
From the Hawaiʻi Police Department:
Hilo patrol officers responded to a reported affray at 10:12 p.m. Friday evening in the area commonly known as “Loneliness Tree,” off of Bayfront Highway in Hilo. As they were approaching the area, officers observed a 32-year-old man, later identified as Wallace Tahutini, of no permanent address, walking away from the area of “Loneliness Tree” heading south towards the Canoe Judge’s Stand. Upon contact with Tahutini, officers observed injuries to his hands and blood on his clothing. Officers asked Tahutini if he needed medical attention, which he declined.
Upon arriving at “Loneliness Tree,” officers discovered an unconscious 41-year-old man lying in sand next to a fire pit and portable metal grill, with his right arm pinned under a large boulder of the fire-pit. Officers extracted the man and used fire extinguishers in an effort to suppress the fire until the arrival of Hawai’i Fire Department personnel, who ultimately extinguished the fire.
Officers observed that the victim had severe facial injuries, which were covered in blood. As Hawai‘i Fire Department medics transported the victim to the Hilo Medical Center Emergency Room, officers tracked down Tahutini nearby an arrested him for assault. He was subsequently transported to the Hawai’i Police Department East Hawai’i Detention Center for booking and processing.
As they continued their investigation, police learned that victim had sustained a severe concussion, multiple fractures to his back, facial bones, and jaw, as well substantial wounds to his ears, scalp, and third-degree burns to his left leg. He remains hospitalized in critical condition.
After conferring with the County Prosecutor’s Office on Sunday, July 23, detectives with the Area I Criminal Investigation Section charged Tahutini with second-degree attempted murder and his bail was set at $500,000.
Tahutini remained in custody at the Hawai‘i Police Department East Hawai’i Detention Center pending his initial court appearance scheduled for Monday, July 24.
Police ask that anyone with information regarding this incident to please contact Detective Kimo Keliipaakaua at email@example.com or the department’s non-emergency number at (808) 935-3311.
Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at (808) 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.
Prosecuting Attorney Kelden Waltjen also announced the charges in a seperate news release. Prosecutors say Tahutini “intentionally engaged in conduct, striking and/or hitting another person, which, under the circumstances as he believed them to be, constituted a substantial step in the course of conduct intended to culminate in his commission of the crime of Murder in the Second Degree, said crime being intentionally or knowingly causing the death of another person”.
Attempted Murder in the Second Degree carries a penalty of life imprisonment with the possibility of parole, prosecutors say. “The charges are merely allegations, and the Defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty,” the office said.