WAILUKU » The 33-year-old Molokai man accused of fatally shooting his estranged girlfriend was once institutionalized in Alaska.
Marlin Lavoie is charged with second-degree murder in the death of 24-year-old Malia Kahalewai in Molokai.
The victim’s friend, Nicole Aea, testified Wednesday at a preliminary hearing that Kahalewai was sitting on a porch when Lavoie returned and shot her outside a friend’s apartment at the Kawela Barns complex, the Maui News reported Thursday. Aea said the shooting happened after Kahalewai repeatedly told Lavoie to leave.
At the hearing, Maui police Detective Jeffrey Mahoney, who interviewed Lavoie after the March 20 shooting, said Lavoie had indicated he was "reportedly diagnosed as bipolar." Mahoney said Lavoie reported he had been institutionalized in Alaska.
According to Mahoney, Lavoie also said that on the night of the shooting, he should have been on medication so he wouldn’t "flip out."
Further details on Lavoie’s Alaska connection were not immediately available.
During questioning by defense attorney Chris Dunn, Mahoney said Lavoie was crying at times during their interview.
Kahalewai was shot in the chest. She was taken to a local hospital, where she later died.
Lavoie, who drove away after the shooting, was arrested the next morning when he surrendered to police near his home, police said.
Wailuku District Judge Adrianne Heely ruled Wednesday that there was sufficient evidence to support the second-degree murder charge as well as other charges including use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and being a felon in possession of a firearm or ammunition.
According to police, Kahalewai and Lavoie had four children and had been in a relationship for nine years.
Four days before the killing, Lavoie was arrested for abusing Kahalewai while she sat in a car with a female friend at a Kalamaula church parking lot, police said. Kahalewai and Lavoie separated after the arrest, according to police.
Aea said Kahalewai was visiting at another friend’s apartment the night of shooting when Lavoie showed up. Lavoie said he wanted to talk to Kahalewai, who kept telling him to go, according to Aea.
She said Kahalewai and Lavoie had talked a while before Kahalewai, Aea and others went outside to smoke cigarettes.
Lavoie also went outside, Aea said.
"He kept repeating, ‘I want to talk to you, come over here,’" she said.
She said Kahalewai told Lavoie to leave and he walked off the porch.
The others had gone back inside, leaving Kahalewai, Aea and Aea’s 3-year-old daughter outside.
Aea said her boyfriend, Constantino Toledo, showed up. Toledo testified he saw Lavoie shoot Kahalewai right after that.
Police recovered the weapon, a Remington bolt-action 30-06 rifle with a scope, Mahoney said. The rifle was registered to a man who acquired it in 2011 and told Molokai police that he had transferred the rifle to Lavoie shortly afterward.