Alleging ‘especially cruel’ crime, prosecutors to seek life without parole in murder case

His victim was partially clothed, her hands and feet were bound, and she had obvious face and head trauma.
Published: Sep. 19, 2022 at 3:54 PM HST|Updated: Sep. 19, 2022 at 5:14 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii Island prosecutors say they’ll seek an enhanced sentence reserved for crimes that are “especially heinous, atrocious or cruel” in a murder case last week.

Michael Carvalho, 36, has been charged with the murder of a 34-year-old Hilo woman and remains in custody on $1 million bail.

If convicted, he could face life behind bars without parole under the enhanced sentence.

Carvalho appeared in court virtually on Monday morning.

Court documents say last week Thursday police responded to a Hawaiian Beaches subdivision home to arrest Carvalho for burglary. But when they searched the home, officers found blood and then the body of a woman.

She was partially clothed, her hands and feet were bound, and she had obvious face and head trauma.

Carvalho was found with a crowbar-type object.

The victim’s family identified her as Makalapuanani Mauga.

“My sister was a good person,” said her sister, Jasmine Kealoha.

“Despite the decisions and choices she made in her life, she didn’t deserve this. She was a mother, a daughter, a sister and a friend. And she was taken from this Earth too soon.”