Cousins arrested after artist beaten to death on Maui

Maui Artist Beaten to Death
Healohaomakanaamekai Akahi Pua
Healohaomakanaamekai Akahi Pua
(Image: Instagram/Michael Colby)
(Image: Instagram/Michael Colby)

KAHULUI, MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Two cousins are in custody on Maui accused of beating and killing a man at the beach in Kahului.

The body was found at Kaa Point, which is about a quarter mile before Kanaha Beach Park in March. Maui police made the two arrests over the weekend.

A 16-year-old Wailuku boy was arrested in connection to the murder Friday evening. Shortly after, his 24-year-old cousin, Healohaomakanaamekai Akahi Pua of Haiku, was also arrested in connection with the murder.

Michael Colby, an artist from Encinitas, California, was found dead in some bushes west of Kite Beach parking area on Amala Place in Kahului on March 19th.

Autopsy results reveal the cause of his death was blunt force trauma to the head and neck and the manner of death was homicide.

Court documents say, "Pua received a phone call from a friend while they were in Walmart stating his niece was almost hit by a blue pickup truck with a camper in the area of Kanaha Beach."

It also says a fight broke out between the two men when Pua arrived. The documents say Colby began yelling at them and ran. Pua confronted Colby in the bushes and punched him once in the face, knocking him unconscious. It also says Pua climbed over Colby and punched him three more times in the face.

The 16-year-old said Colby was alive and making snoring sounds when they left and they didn't know about Colby's death until the next day when they saw it on social media.

Akahi Pua has been charged with Murder in the Second Degree. His bail is set at $1,000,000.

Colby's loved ones are making two memorials in his honor at his favorite beaches, one on Maui and the other in Encinitas.

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