East Hawaii News

Man charged with murder of mother-in-law with sword on Big Island

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A Big Island man has been charged with murder in connection with the death of a woman who was allegedly killed with a sword last week at a Puna residence.

After conferring with the Hawai‘i County prosecutor’s office, detectives with the Hawai‘i Police Department Area I Criminal Investigation Section charged 52-year-old Christopher Roy Howlind of Kurtistown with second-degree murder following the violent slaying of his mother-in-law, 58-year-old Teri Lynn Apple, in Orchidland Estates.

Howlind was taken into custody and transported to the Hilo Police Station on Thursday afternoon following his release from Hilo Medical Center. His bail is set at $1 million.

Howlind is scheduled to make his initial court appearance Friday afternoon in Hilo District Court.


The charge stems from an incident reported shortly after 2:30 p.m. April 28 when Puna patrol officers responded to an unknown disturbance at a residence on 38th Avenue in Orchidland Estates.

Responding officers immediately located a man, later identified as Howlind, appearing in need of medical assistance. He had visible injuries to his hands and his clothes were bloodied. Officers observed a large sword covered in blood next to him and immediately called for an ambulance.

While officers were waiting for the medical assistance, they located the Apple’s lifeless body with severe knife wounds to her neck, upper body, arms and hands. Howlind was then arrested for murder.


While Howlind was being transported to the Hilo cellblock, he began vomiting and became unresponsive. He was immediately taken to the emergency room at Hilo Medical Center and was later admitted. Police think he ingested some type of chemical liquid prior to patrol officers arriving on scene.

Detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigation Section responded to the scene to continue the investigation.

An autopsy was completed May 2. The forensic pathologist ruled that Apple died as a result of multiple chop wounds and sharp-forced injuries, and ruled the manner of death as homicide.


Because of Howlind’s medical condition following his initial arrest, he was released from police custody April 30. Detectives then obtained an arrest warrant so that upon his condition improving and subsequent release from the hospital, he could again be taken into custody.

Anyone who might have information about this incident is asked to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 808-935-3311 or contact Detective Clarence Davies at 808-961-2382 or via email at [email protected].

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