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Hilo man pleads not guilty to murder charges

  • 2013 February 13 - CTY - This is a mug of Sean Ivan Masa Matsumoto, 34, of Hilo. He is expected to be charged tonight of murder 1 and two counts of murder 2, in the shooting death of his girlfriend and her mother in Hilo. Matsumoto was arrested Feb. 11.

    2013 February 13 - CTY - This is a mug of Sean Ivan Masa Matsumoto, 34, of Hilo. He is expected to be charged tonight of murder 1 and two counts of murder 2, in the shooting death of his girlfriend and her mother in Hilo. Matsumoto was arrested Feb. 11.

A 34-year-old Hilo man charged with murder in the fatal shooting of his girlfriend and her mother pleaded not guilty Thursday in Hilo District Court, Deputy Prosecutor Darien Nagata said.

Sean Matsumoto was charged with one count of first-degree murder, which carries a life sentence without the possibility of parole, two counts of second-degree murder and three counts of use of a firearm in a separate felony. He also faces a reckless endangering charge for allegedly putting a minor in danger of death, police said.

Rhonda Ahu, 45, Matsumoto’s girlfriend, and her mother Elaine Ahu, 74, were killed Monday night at their Hilo home while two children were in the home.

The judge denied bail for Matsumoto. His preliminary hearing is set for 2 p.m. Tuesday in district court.

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