After string of brutal stabbings, prosecutors dub Hawaii suspect a ‘modern-day serial killer’
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Hawaii Island man accused in a string of knife attacks in recent weeks now faces a first-degree murder charge, which is rare in Hawaii.
Chito Asuncion is accused of stabbing four people ― from Kailua-Kona to Hilo ― over three weeks.
Two of the victims died, two were injured.
“Murder in the second-degree, the max penalty is life in prison with the possibility of parole. Murder in the first-degree, it’s life in prison without the possibility of parole,” said Hawaii County Prosecuting Attorney Kelden Waltjen.
One of those who died was identified as 48-year old Boyd Maygra, who was found dead Tuesday at Hale Halawai County Park.
“It’s very scary,” said Hawaii County Council member Holeka Inaba, adding the park is popular for families.
“Paddling, surfing, diving, swimming those are all areas that we frequent as people who live in Kona.”
Big Island police arrested Asuncion for Maygra’s death and then connected him to three other stabbings:
- On May 17: Brian Macaulay, 62, was found fatally stabbed near Palani Road in Kailua-Kona.
- On May 25: A 59-year old man was taken to the hospital after being stabbed in Hilo.
- On May 30: A 70-year-old woman was found in Hilo with knife injuries and remains hospitalized.
Waltjen called the crimes “very unusual.”
“This is not something that typically happens on Hawaii island. We have ... essentially a modern-day serial killer,” he said.
In addition to the first-degree murder charge, Asuncion faces two counts of second-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder. His bail is currently set at $1.5 million, but prosecutors are asking that he be held without bail.
Asuncion’s preliminary hearing is set for Monday.
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