A Waikiki hotel surveillance footage caught a 46-year-old Waipahu man tossing the body of a woman into a dumpster and covering it with items found in the trash container, according to a police affidavit.
Joseph M. Kahawai on Friday was charged with second-degree murder of Janine Meyer, 51. He remains in police custody unable to post $1 million bail.
Dr. Masahiko Kobayashi, deputy medical examiner, said Meyer died of asphyxiation due to various causes. Meyer’s body was discovered on the morning of Oct. 28 in a trash dumpster near the Hawaiian Colony apartments. Court documents said surveillance tapes show that on Oct. 27 Meyer and Kahawai entered nearby Island Hostel, 1946 Ala Moana Blvd.
Surveillance footage recorded the following morning shows Kahawai carrying Meyer’s lifeless body and throwing it into the dumpster, according to the affidavit. Kahawai then climbed into the dumpster and covered the body with items in the trash bin, the police affidavit said.
According to the police statement, on Oct. 20, Meyer filed a terroristic threatening complaint against Kahawai in which she maintained that he had threatened to kill her if she refused to have sex with him. Kahawai was never arrested in connection with the complaint because police could not find him. A week later, Meyer was dead.
A witness told police that during morning hours on Oct. 27 he heard a woman screaming “please stop” from room 219 where Kahawai was registered. On Oct. 28, a man found Meyer’s body while rummaging through the dumpster located near the hostel.
Also, Kahawai will be tried on Thursday in District Court on another misdemeanor charge of second-degree terroristic threatening. According to a court filing, Kahawai threatened bodily harm to a man at a homeless shelter.
Kahawai has an extensive criminal record, with the majority of his convictions for misdemeanor offenses. He has six felony convictions, ranging from unauthorized entries to theft and burglary. His last conviction was in 2008 for car theft and driving without a license.