Days before trial, judge dismisses case against man accused of killing Maui mother 23 years ago

A judge drops the case of a Florida man accused of killing a woman on Maui more than 20 years ago.
Published: Mar. 7, 2023 at 11:02 PM HST|Updated: Mar. 7, 2023 at 11:42 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A judge has dropped the case against a Florida man accused of killing a woman on Maui more than 20 years ago because prosecutors took too long to pursue the case.

The decision comes just days before 62-year-old Anthony Moreno was supposed to go on trial for the murder of Kimberly Belloumini nearly 23 years ago.

Belloumini’s son, Steve Bruner, was shocked by the decision.

He was about to turn 18 when he and his brother lost their mother.

At age 38, she was found dead in her Kihei apartment.

“This incident ruined my childhood, all my dreams,” said Bruner. “Her second son was 11 years old, and this has caused misery for his life. He has a drug problem now, I hate to say that.”

Authorities said Belloumini went home from a bar with Moreno the night she died in October 2000.

He was indicted in 2019, partly based on DNA evidence.

But now a judge said the state waited too long to prosecute and five witnesses have since died.

So after three years behind bars, Moreno became a free man Friday.

“That concerns me, for other females in life,” said Bruner. “I’m a very big people person, but with someone like that out on the streets, I’m concerned for others and so is my family.”

Defense attorney Matthew Nardi said he was looking forward to proving Moreno’s innocence.

“We are still relieved because we know no matter how good of a motion or case you have, it’s extremely difficult for a judge to dismiss a homicide,” he said.

He added the five witnesses who died would have been critical in proving his client’s case.

“One being the medical examiner who performed the autopsy, the other being the taxicab driver who drove Mr. Moreno and Miss Bellwoumini to her apartment that evening, have both passed away.”

The defense said at this point there was no way for Moreno to get a fair trial.

The judge dismissed the case with prejudice so Maui’s prosecuting attorney couldn’t refile the charges.

Maui Prosecutor Andrew Martin said appeal is still an option.

“We’re going to be reviewing that with our appellate team, taking a look at the transcripts and the record, and really, most importantly, discussing that option with the family,” he said.

Bruner said his family won’t stop until justice is served.

“We were hoping to get a little what’s called justice done,” said Bruner. “Get all this, you know, weight off our chests and move on in life. It hurts.”