MAUI (Hawaii News Now) - The suspect charged in the shooting death of a Maui man admitted to police that he pulled the trigger, but said he did so during a struggle and not in retaliation after finding the victim in bed with his girlfriend, court documents said.
Justin Namauu, 42, appeared in a Maui courtroom Thursday.
He remains in custody on second-degree murder, kidnapping and several firearms counts, and his bail is set at $2 million.
The victim, meanwhile, has been identified as 45-year-old Dennis Pacheco, Jr. Police spent days looking for the victim's remains after Namauu allegedly hid the body in a wooded area in Kahikinui.
Court documents say the shooting happened May 21 about 7 a.m., after Namauu drove his off-road quad to his girlfriend's home on Piilani Highway.
When he got there, he allegedly shot Pacheco three times, killing him, then forced his girlfriend to help him load the body into her car, the documents said.
Maui police said Namauu also forced his girlfriend to come with him to get rid of the body and to return to his home, where he allegedly asked her if Windex "would remove fingerprints and other evidence" from the crime scene.
Eventually, Namauu let his girlfriend go, the documents said, and she called police.
At the girlfriend's home, police found blood in several areas of the home, including in a dog's food bowl.
A search warrant on Namauu's home recovered five rifles, ammunition and clothes with blood on them.
Namauu was later arrested and initially denied shooting Pacheco and disposing of his body. But he later changed his story, according to court documents, telling police that he suspected his girlfriend was cheating on him so went to her home, where he found her and the victim "naked and in bed together."
He also told officers that Pacheco and his girlfriend charged him, struck him on the head and tried to grab his gun. In a struggle, the suspect said, the gun went off twice, hitting Pacheco.
Namauu told police he knew Pacheco was dead and so set about trying to hide his remains, and got help from his girlfriend to do it.
It took police days to find Pacheco's body, and his family members even helped in the desperate search.
After the body had been found, family members embraced and cried.
"We found our Dennis Pacheco. Now we can take him home. We want to thank everybody involved in this," said Pacheco's mother, Eleanor.