Police: Suspect in gruesome Makaha murder beat mother until she was ‘unrecognizable’
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The suspect in a Makaha murder this week made his first appearance in court Friday and authorities confirmed that the victim in the brutal beating was his own mother.
Joshua McPeek, 19, allegedly punched and stomped on his mother ― Michelle McPeek ― in the middle of Farrington Highway after an argument.
Court documents say the woman was found by police, lying lifeless on her back with her face completely smashed in. They said she was unrecognizable because of her injuries.
Police say McPeek allegedly fled the scene.
An officer said the suspect was located a short time later, about a mile from the crime scene, near Makaha Beach Park. HPD said the suspect’s hands and face were covered in blood.
Defense attorney Victor Bakke said it appears the teen may have been suffering from a serious mental illness, drug addiction ― or both.
“Nobody just assaults somebody else like that and especially your mother,” he said.
The attorney added that intoxication is not a defense.
“But sometimes with long-term drug use you’ll see that it causes a brain injury so that the person actually comes brain damaged so to speak,” said Bakke.
It’s still unknown what led up to the argument between McPeek and his mother.
However, witnesses did report seeing a second woman during the attack, crying and running up and down the road, but she vanished a short time later.
Authorities alleged there was a brief struggle before the teen was detained.
McPeek is charged with murder, and his bail remains at $1 million.
Copyright 2022 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.