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Mental fitness exam allowed in Molokai murder case


WAILUKU » A mental fitness evaluation will determine if a Molokai man accused of murdering his girlfriend is competent to stand trial.

Marlin Lavoie has pleaded not guilty to murder and other charges in the March shooting death of 24-year-old Malia Kahalewai, the mother of their four children. She died of a single gunshot wound to her chest.

Defense attorney Chris Dunn says Lavoie was suffering from a physical or mental disease, disorder or defect at the time of the shooting. Dunn says his client lacks the mental capacity to understand the court proceedings against him.

The Maui News reports that a judge granted a request for mental evaluations. Lavoie will be examined by three court-appointed mental health professionals. Reports on their findings are due Aug. 26.

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