Attorney: Man charged in deadly knife attacks targeted sleeping homeless people
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A court ruled Monday that a Big Island man accused in a string of deadly knife attacks will need to undergo a mental fitness evaluation.
Court documents revealed 24-year-old Chito Asuncion allegedly told investigators that he targeted homeless people because he thought killing them helped get them to a “better place.”
Defense attorney Andrew Kennedy said in court Monday of his client: “He was asked why he chose to do this while people are sleeping. And related that it’s more peaceful for them.”
Police say Asuncion was also witnessed talking to himself, some of it indiscernible, when officers left him alone in the interrogation room.
During Monday’s hearing, the defendant at times displayed bizarre behavior, smiling as his attorney talked to the judge about his mental fitness.
Kennedy told the judge his client does not have a history of mental illness.
The first attack Asuncion is accused of happened May 17 in Kailua-Kona.
Over the course of the next several weeks, he allegedly stabbed four people as they slept across the island. Two of them died.
Boyd Maygra was found dead last Tuesday at Hale Halawai County Park.
Friends says the 48-year-old left a part of him with everyone he met.
“I honestly don’t feel like I would have become the man I am today if I hadn’t been friends with Boyd,” said Michael Lingley. “He was just such a creative, amazing, free spirit. He showed you how amazing and creative you could be in your life and how to see beauty in things.”
Lingley said the two were lifelong friends and that they met in sixth grade.
“I just stopped by and talked to his mom, Marcy, today. And she is annihilated. That’s her boy,” he said. “Just everyone who knew Boyd was extremely shocked and overwhelmed by what happened.
Friends say Maygra was a father and that he enjoyed gardening and worked on several coffee plantations during his time in Hawaii.
“He was always creating art, always making music, always writing poetry,” said Lingley. “The way he found joy was bringing joy into other people’s life by his kindness and his smile.”
Asuncion is expected back in court later this month. He faces multiple counts of murder and attempted murder charges. If convicted, he could spend the rest of his life behind bars.
Copyright 2022 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.