HILO >> A former boxer is no longer facing a murder charge in the death of his girlfriend, but is still scheduled for a May trial in the death of the woman’s 18-month-old daughter.
The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports prosecutors asked a judge to dismiss the charge against Xavier Cortez Jr. in the 2011 strangling death of 20-year-old Sommer Ferreira due to a lack of cooperating witnesses.
Ferreira’s death occurred almost nine months after her daughter died at a Honolulu hospital. A prosecutor said Cortez killed Ferreira to stop her from testifying against him in her daughter’s death.
A Hilo judge dismissed the charge and allowed prosecutors to refile later.
Court-appointed attorney Stanton Oshiro had asked the charge be dismissed without the possibility of refiling, saying the state’s case was inherently weak.