Defense Files Examination of Fitness for Kona Man Accused of Murdering Houseless Men
June 13, 2022, 12:02 PM HST
Defense counsel for a Kona man accused of murdering two houseless men and assaulting two other houseless individuals in Hilo filed motion to suspend the preliminary hearing for mental evaluation.
Twenty-four-year-old Chito Asuncion was charged with first-degree murder, which applies when an individual murders more than one person; two counts of second-degree murder; and two counts of second-degree attempted murder. The offenses carry penalties of up to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Defense attorney Andrew Kennedy filed a motion Sunday, June 12, to suspend proceedings for examination for fitness.
“As capacity at time of the offense is an issue that is within the discretion of the Defendant as to whether he wishes to pursue a mental capacity defense, it would not be appropriate to subject Defendant to an examination as to the details of the event prior to a finding of whether he is fit to consent to such an examination,” the motion states.
Asuncion was arrested Tuesday, June 7, after Hawai‘i police discovered a lifeless body at Hale Halawai Park in Kona. The victim was later identified as 48-year-old Boyd Maygra of Kailua-Kona. An autopsy conducted Wednesday determined he suffered multiple stab wounds.
Through the course of their investigation, police linked Asuncion to a reported fatal stabbing in Kona on or around May 17 where authorities discovered the body of 63-year-old Brian Macaulay of Kailua-Kona near the intersection of Palani Road and Queen Ka‘ahumanu Highway.
Asuncion was also linked to two non-fatal assaults in Hilo. The first occurred on May 25 and involved a 59-year-old man. The second was reported on May 30 and involved a 70-year-old Hilo woman.
According to Kennedy’s motion, discovery provided to defense counsel accuses Asuncion of stating the following: “Asuncion related that by killing homeless people he feels it helps them get to a better place whether it is heaven or hell. When asked if there was a reason that he chooses to do this while the people are sleeping, he related that it is more peaceful.”
During an hour-long interview with Hawai‘i police, the motion indicates the defendant was left alone for short periods. During one of these periods, the defendant began speaking to himself. It was not apparent if defendant was speaking English, or what language he was speaking.
During his initial appearance on Thursday, June 9, the prosecution filed a motion for no bail. Per Diem Judge Joseph P. Florendo said he would review the motion during the next hearing. His bail was maintained at
$1.5 million bail.
Deputy Public Defender Rick Macapinlac was present with Asuncion and made a motion to allow the 24-year-old to appear for his preliminary hearing in civilian clothing, which was granted.